The Best Medical Alert Systems of 2021

Medical alert systems, also known as personal emergency response systems (PERS), offer a quick and simple way for people to remain safe in their homes. For older adults who want to age in place, a medical alert system can help them live by themselves without sacrificing their safety. All types of emergencies—falls, fires, or anything that requires a quick response—can be addressed with the click of a button. Allow me to explain.

Medical alert systems, also known as personal emergency response systems (PERS), offer a quick and simple way for people to remain safe in their homes. For older adults who want to age in place, a medical alert system can help them live by themselves without sacrificing their safety. All types of emergencies—falls, fires, or anything that requires a quick response—can be addressed with the click of a button.

Allow me to explain.

What Is a Medical Alert System?

Medical Alert Systems are life-saving devices that connect a user with help when a button is pressed, or in some cases, when a fall is detected. There are a large number of medical alert companies in the U.S., and they can vary widely in terms of equipment quality and services offered. With seemingly endless options to choose from, it’s difficult to know where to start. Rest assured, you’re in good hands. Our team of experts leaves no stone unturned when testing and reviewing medical alert systems.

How I Judge Each Medical Alert System

When it came to evaluating each medical alert system, I had my work cut out for me. Not only are there so many different devices available on the market, but each of them also possesses its own unique array of functions. Still, there are some traits that are indispensable in a solid medical alert system, regardless of the type.

Here is what I looked for.

  1. Reliable Equipment: Most medical alert equipment claims to be built to last, and I made sure to run extensive tests to verify this. Help buttons and base stations should be able to withstand a fall, and the systems as a whole should last you for a number of years.
  2. Ease of Use: The goal of a medical alert system is to simplify your life, giving peace of mind to both the user and their caregivers, so I kept my eye out for systems that streamlined the process, ensuring users of any ability level can operate them.
  3. Conscientious Customer Care: The human touch is key to the business of caregiving. This is why it’s important for medical alert companies to offer impeccable customer service, from the agents at their monitoring centers to their support personnel.
  4. Affordable Pricing: Medical alert systems tend to cost anywhere from $20-$40 per month, with mobile systems tending to cost a bit more. All of the systems detailed below fit within this range.
  5. Flexible Contracts: If you frequent The Senior List, you know I’m very much against long-term contracts. Some companies lock customers into 3-year commitments, which means you’re stuck paying if your loved one no longer needs it. All of the companies on this list, however, offer easy cancelation terms without requiring long-term contracts.

Without further ado, here is my list of the best medical alert systems currently on the market!

Best Medical Alert Systems 2021

At a Glance: The Best Medical Alert Systems

Here is an overview of each system, its pricing, and some other vital features.

Our
Rank
Medical Alert
Company
Starting At Fall
Detection
In Home
Range
Cellular
Provider
1 Bay Alarm Medical $21.95 $10/mo 1000ft AT&T 4G LTE
2 Medical Guardian Logo $29.95 $10/mo 1300ft AT&T
3 $29.95 $10/mo 300-600ft AT&T
4 $29.99 $10/mo N/A AT&T
5 Medical Alert logo. Medical Alert is a medical alert company. $19.95 $10/mo 400ft AT&T
6 LifeFone $29.95 $5/mo 1300ft AT&T
7 Philips Lifeline Logo $29.95 $15/mo 400ft AT&T
8 Lively $19.99 $15/mo N/A Verizon
9 HandsFreeHealth Logo $$189 one-time charge N/A N/A AT&T
10 LifeStation $19.95 $7/mo 500ft AT&T
11 ResponseNow $29.95 $11.95/mo 600ft AT&T
12 QMedic $30.00 N/A 1000ft AT&T
13 Alert1 $16.95 $11/mo 600ft AT&T / T-Mobile

*Cellular units don’t require additional service plans. This cost is included with your subscription to the medical alert company.

Full List of the Best Medical Alert Systems of 2021

1. Bay Alarm Medical - Most Affordable

Bay Alarm Medical
4.9 / 5
See Pricing
Call for best price:
844-620-0287
What We Like Most:
  • 30-day risk-free trial
  • Optional fall detection
  • Location tracking on mobile units
  • Voice-activated buttons

Overview

Since 1946, Bay Alarm Medical has brought medical alert systems to homes throughout the country. Despite all this time, they’re still family-owned and operated, allowing them to provide care that is both personalized and attentive.

Bay Alarm Medical offers a traditional in-home medical alert system, in addition to a GPS-enabled mobile unit and an in-car system, the first of its kind. This system, I observed, would also be great for young drivers, as it allows you to track its location and set notifications when the device leaves a certain boundary.

They also allow you to save by bundling their in-home system with one of their on-the-go options. Some of their systems can also be used with their Caregiver Tracking app, which allows you to track the user’s location, in addition to sending you notifications when the system’s battery is low.

All of these features come at a shockingly low cost. Bay Alarm Medical’s in-home systems start at a mere $21.95 per month, not to mention that they also waive activation, installation, and equipment fees.

Bay Alarm Medical Key Points

  • Features: Bay Alarm Medical offers landline and cellular in-home options, a mobile option with 4G LTE coverage, and an in-car medical alert system. Each of their help buttons (worn as either a pendant or wristband) is also water-resistant.
  • Extras: In addition to the systems themselves, Bay Alarm Medical also offers several useful add-ons including additional help buttons, wall buttons, automatic fall detection, and lockboxes for your keys. They also have some products not often seen with other systems. Their Bella Charms offer a stylish way to spruce up the staid appearance of the help pendant, and their Vial of Life is a handy way to keep track of medical information. For more details on these extras and their pricing, check out my full review of Bay Alarm Medical.
  • Battery: The in-home system features a backup battery that can last up to 32 hours, and the mobile unit can last 72 hours on a single charge.
  • In-Home Range: Bay Alarm Medical’s in-home system has a connectivity range of 1,000 feet, enough to cover most homes and potentially even accommodate venturing into the yard.
  • What Stands Out: Bay Alarm Medical offers simple pricing and equipment that’s a breeze to install. Although their number of systems is not as large as other companies, they are still able to cover almost any type of care situation. On top of everything, Bay Alarm Medical offers stellar customer service. Each time I made test calls to their monitoring centers, I was treated with patience, skill, and, most importantly, compassion.

Medical Alert Systems Offered

Pros
  • No long-term contracts
  • Mobile GPS tracking
  • Caregiver features
  • Affordable systems
  • Voice and wall-mounted buttons available
Cons
  • Fall detection requires additional pendant

2. Medical Guardian - Best Overall Value

Medical Guardian Logo
4.8 / 5
View Packages
Call for best price:
855-680-0742
What We Like Most:
  • No long-term contracts
  • No setup fees
  • Activity tracking
  • GPS location technology

Overview

What separates Medical Guardian from other medical alert providers is their fierce commitment to protecting their customers. The company has even been recognized as one of the top places to work in the country, and happy employees leads to happy customers.

In terms of devices, Medical Guardian offers an in-home traditional medical alert system, an in-home cellular option, two mobile devices with GPS capability, and a smartwatch, all of which can be paired with their fall detection technology. What’s more, their systems are both intuitive and simple to use. I was able to get mine up and running in a matter of minutes. Medical Guardian promises a “life without limits,” a lofty goal that is certainly met.

This range of service features helps put them at the top of my list, as there is a Medical Guardian system to suit any set of needs. If Medical Guardian seems right for you, then check out my full review to learn more.

Medical Guardian Key Points

  • Features: Medical Guardian offers landline and cellular in-home options, mobile options with GPS capabilities, and water-resistant help buttons worn around either the wrist or neck.
  • Extras: Additional wrist or neck pendants can be added to a system, which is a great option for couples and roommates. Medical Guardian also offers automatic fall detection pendants, wall-mounted help buttons, voice-activated wall buttons, and waterproof lockboxes.
  • Battery: In-home systems feature a 32-hour backup battery, ensuring your system will still function in the event of a power outage. Their mobile units feature a rechargeable battery that lasts for up to 24 hours.
  • In-Home Range: The Classic Guardian, their in-home system, features a connectivity range of 1,300 feet, which is more than enough for most homes.
  • What Stands Out: The connectivity range of Medical Guardian’s in-home systems is unrivaled in terms of distance. You can also add multiple help buttons under the same system, a common-sense feature that is lacking in most medical alert products.

Medical Alert Systems Offered

Pros
  • Wide range of systems
  • All-in-one mobile unit
  • Stellar monitoring
  • Smartwatch option
  • Fall detection
  • Waterproof devices
Cons
  • More costly than some systems

3. ADT - Most Durable Equipment

4.5 / 5
See Pricing
Call for best price:
844-996-2846
What We Like Most:
  • Waterproof help buttons
  • Optional fall detection
  • Quick response times
  • Straightforward pricing

Overview

Widely known for their home security systems, ADT also offers medical alert systems that can keep users safe both in and outside their homes. While you won’t find much in terms of groundbreaking new technology here, ADT’s systems deliver an exceptional performance with durable equipment and speedy emergency response times.

Currently, ADT offers a traditional in-home system, which can connect through either a landline or a cellular signal. They also have a mobile system that features a built-in GPS. Both of these systems can work with the addition of fall detection.

ADT plans start at $29.99 per month, making them about average in terms of cost. Luckily, they have no additional activation fees, and since their equipment is leased (rather than purchased), you won’t have to worry about repairs or warranties. For more info on ADT’s medical alert systems, check out my full review of ADT.

ADT Key Points

  • Features: ADT’s in-home options can function through either a landline or cellular connection. The mobile system, with its all-in-one pendant, is compatible with GPS and fall detection, allowing monitoring agents to better protect you in the event of an emergency.
  • Extras: ADT’s in-home and mobile systems are compatible with automatic fall detection. Additionally, their in-home systems feature temperature monitoring, meaning in the event of a fire, your system will automatically contact the monitoring center for a quick response.
  • Battery: Their in-home systems feature a 24-hour backup battery. Their mobile system lasted upwards of a day during our tests.
  • In-Home Range: ADT’s in-home landline system can cover 300 feet, whereas the cellular version covers about 600 feet.
  • What Stands Out: ADT isn’t reinventing the wheel with their medical alert systems. What they do provide, however, is durable equipment tied to a stellar team of monitoring professionals. I would definitely trust ADT to help out any older adult living alone.
Pros
  • Waterproof Help Buttons
  • No Long-Term Contracts
  • Automatic Fall Detection
  • Personalized Response Plans
  • Quick Response Times
  • All-In-One Mobile Pendant
  • Landline Options Available
  • Affordable Monthly Plans
Cons
  • Relatively Small In-Home Range
  • No Smart Features

4. Aloe Care Health - Best Caregiver Features

4.4 / 5
See Pricing
Call for best price:
855-618-0261
What We Like Most:
  • Helpful voice commands
  • Detailed caregiver smartphone app
  • No long-term contracts
  • Mobile unit with GPS

Overview

A relative newcomer in the world of medical alert systems, Aloe Care Health shakes up the PERS formula with its smart hub. Much like a traditional medical alert base station, the smart hub serves as your speaker and microphone, allowing you to communicate with emergency responders. Where it differs is in its voice command features, allowing you place calls and ask questions with solely the sound of your voice.

Aloe Care comes in two packages: Essentials and Total Health, which cost $29.99 and $39.99 per month, respectively. The main difference in these packages is that the latter can support automatic fall detection and the addition of motion sensors, which can be placed around your house for augmented activity monitoring.

Another unique aspect of Aloe Care’s system is its fall detection device. Unlike traditional fall detection, which utilizes additional help buttons, Aloe Care’s fall detection device is designed to detect motion from afar. When placed in your bathroom, it can create a virtual map, allowing it to sense a fall and trigger an appropriate response.

Aloe Care requires you to purchase your equipment upfront, rather than rent it. This will lead to higher startup costs ($149.99 for the Essentials and $249.99 for Total Care); however, on the plus side, you will own your equipment and won’t have to return it to the manufacturer when done with it.

Aloe Care Health Key Points

  • Features: Aloe Care Health offers two systems that are both made for in-home use. Each of these systems features water-resistant help buttons and the smart hub base station. Currently, Aloe Care Health does not offer a mobile option for use outside of the home.
  • Extras: For either the Essentials of Total Care packages, you will have access to Aloe Care’s Caregiver app. We loved how this made it easier to keep track of our system from afar. Whenever a distress call was made, everyone connected to the app received a notification. Additionally, this app could be used to make calls directly to the Aloe Care system. With the Total Care package, we also received motion sensors, which would monitor our movement and provide accompanying notifications through the app’s portal.
  • Battery: The Aloe Care smart hub requires a wall outlet to function. However, in the event of a power outage, it features a backup battery that lasted for a day during our tests, more than enough time to protect you until power is restored.
  • In-Home Range: In my tests, I found that LifeStation’s in-home system worked up to 800 ft away from my base station.
  • What Stands Out: What stood out to us most with Aloe Care’s systems was how our smart hub not only kept us connected to monitoring but also our loved ones. This is the only medical alert device that allows you to make voice calls to anyone on your contact list without triggering an emergency call.

Medical Alert Systems Offered

Pros
  • Sophisticated voice commands
  • Detailed caregiver tracking
  • Fall detection included
  • Nonemergency call features
  • Home temperature monitoring
Cons
  • Initial equipment costs

5. Medical Alert - Best Mobile App

Medical Alert logo. Medical Alert is a medical alert company.
4.3 / 5
See Pricing
Call for best price:
877-909-6735
What We Like Most:
  • Simple Setup Process
  • At-Home and On-The-Go Options
  • Automatic Fall Detection
  • Full-Featured Mobile App
Pros
  • No Equipment Fees
  • Affordable Monthly Costs
  • Monthly Contract Options
  • Discounts for Annual Contracts
  • In-Home and On-The-Go Options
  • Simple Setup
  • 24/7 Professional Monitoring
Cons
  • No Option to Purchase Equipment

6. LifeFone - Free Spouse Coverage

LifeFone
4.2 / 5
View Packages
Call for best price:
844-936-2892
What We Like Most:
  • Free Spouse Coverage
  • Price Lock Lifetime Guarantee
  • 1300 ft In-Home Range
  • Fall detection on in-home and on-the-go systems
  • Lowest cost for fall detection

Overview

With its entire workforce based in the United States, LifeFone is able to offer an unparalleled level of service to its customers. They also offer bundles of their systems, such as the At-Home and On-The-Go GPS combo, which is perfect for spouses or roommates.

In total, LifeFone offers four different alert systems: in-home (both landline and cellular options), a bundled at-home and on-the-go system (perfect for couples), and a bundle of two mobile units (perfect for active couples). All of these systems also have available the option of fall detection. While LifeFone certainly offers options suited for couples, their solid equipment and locked-in pricing make them a great fit for just about anyone.

In terms of pricing, LifeFone’s systems start at $29.95 per month, but don’t let that number fool you. Their fall detection costs only $5 per month, lower than anyone else in the industry. Additionally, their bundled systems offer savings to those of us looking to add additional users. All of this makes LifeFone a deceptively affordable option. Check out my full review to learn about all things LifeFone.

LifeFone Key Points

  • Features: Every LifeFone system features the fall detection option, two-way talk, and access to their U.S. based monitoring agents. The mobile systems also feature GPS capability, meaning that the monitoring center and loved ones can track the user’s location.
  • Extras: When it comes to add-ons, LifeFone has you covered. They offer services such as daily check-in calls, medication reminders, and activity assurance, which is a great way for the monitoring center to verify the wellbeing of the user. LifeFone also offers a hanging lockbox, a leather carrying case, and a vanity pendant, which can help disguise the clinical appearance of a help button.
  • Battery: LifeFone’s in-home system features a 32-hour backup battery, whereas the mobile system lasted about five days on a single charge, based on my testing.
  • In-Home Range: Whether the system is cellular or landline-based, the help buttons will work up to 1,300 feet from the base station.
  • What Stands Out: LifeFone has a proven track record of customer service excellence and equipment made of high-grade material. Their bundles offer a unique and cost-effective solution for cohabitants. Their fall detection also comes in at steal, only $5 per month.

Medical Alert Systems Offered

Pros
  • Most affordable fall detection
  • Free Spouse Coverage
  • Price-Lock Lifetime Guarantee
  • Most Affordable Fall Detection
  • 1,300 ft Range for In-Home Systems
  • No Long-Term Contracts
  • In-House Monitoring Center
Cons
  • Occasional risk of false alarms with fall detection

7. Philips Lifeline - Easiest to Use

Philips Lifeline Logo
4.5 / 5
See Pricing
Call for best price:
844-954-3468
What We Like Most:
  • All-In-One Mobile Alert
  • Free Caregiver App
  • Personalized Response Plans
  • First Medical Alert Service in North America
Pros
  • Waterproof Help Buttons
  • No Long-Term Contracts
  • Automatic Fall Detection
  • Personalized Response Plans
  • Responsive Monitoring Center
  • All-In-One Mobile Pendant
  • Long-Lasting Batteries
  • Affordable Monthly Plans
Cons
  • Activation Fees for Most Systems
  • Costly Automatic Fall Detection
  • No Activity Tracking or Smart Features

8. Lively - Fastest Call Response

Lively
4.1 / 5
View Packages
Call for best price:
833-695-0501
What We Like Most:
  • No Long-Term Contracts
  • Phones Designed for Seniors
  • Medical Alert Features
  • Flip Phones and Smart Phones Available
Pros
  • No Long-Term Contracts
  • Low Initial Cost for Phones
  • Two Phones To Choose From
  • Plans Start at $14.99/Month
Cons
  • Phones Limited to Lively Plans

9. WellBe by HandsFree Health - Best Voice Features

HandsFreeHealth Logo
3.9 / 5
See Pricing
What We Like Most:
  • Wide range of voice commands
  • Sleek design
  • Backup battery
  • Companion family app

Overview

Sold by HandsFree Health, WellBe’s Medical Alert Plus is a unique medical alert system that combines a virtual assistant with a wellness-tracking smartwatch. The end result is an advanced way for anyone to stay safe and connected, both in and out of their home.

From tracking medications, to making emergency calls, to even reading you audiobooks, WellBe’s Medical Alert Plus has an impressive featureset. What’s more, through the use of the WellBe Virtual Assistant app, loved ones can keep track of a user’s medical information and even set reminders for various tasks or appointments.

The WellBe watch and smart speaker can be purchased as a pair or separately. Check out my WellBe Pricing page to learn more about the features and pricing of this system.

WellBe Key Points

  • Features: Between the WellBe watch and smart speaker, users can place emergency calls, make non emergency calls, track their heart rate, count their steps, play music, receive answers to medical questions, and even keep track of reminders for medications or other events.
  • Extras: While these devices don’t have fall detection, either of them allows you to make calls with the sound of your voice. This, combined with GPS and wellness tracking, made me really appreciate the approach of WellBe.
  • Battery: In my testing, I found that the WellBe watch lasted just over a day per charge.
  • In-Home Range: The watch can go with you anywhere, and the smart speaker was able to hear my voice from every room in my house.
  • What Stands Out: What I liked most about WellBe’s devices were their versatility. Whether you’re prone to falls, looking to keep track of medications, or simply have quick access to emergency help, WellBe can provide it well.
Pros
  • Intuitive voice commands
  • Wi-Fi connection
  • No monthly charges
  • Can support up to six different users
  • Entertainment features
  • Emergency and non-emergency calls
  • One-year warranty
Cons
  • Higher start-up costs
  • No fall detection

10. LifeStation - Low Monthly Fees

LifeStation
4.0 / 5
What We Like Most:
  • Systems Starting at $19.95 per Month
  • No Long-Term Contracts
  • Stellar Customer Support
  • Self-Testing Devices

Overview

For over 40 years, LifeStation has played an instrumental role in protecting senior citizens. Designed by industry veterans, LifeStation systems are designed with older adults in mind, and the end result is three systems that provide ideal ways for folks to age in place.

Currently, they offer a traditional in-home landline system, a cellular in-home system, and a mobile system with GPS capabilities. Starting at $19.95 per month, these systems are quite the steal, and their fall detection only costs an additional $7 per month. Despite the low price, LifeStation sacrifices nothing when it comes to quality of care.

Each LifeStation monitoring agent is a CSAA-Certified Care Specialist, meaning with each call I made with my system, I was in the hands of trained professionals. These men and women will respond quickly and effectively, either by arranging emergency services or contacting a loved one designated in your personalized care plan. For those who want a no-frills medical alert device that performs well beyond its price range, look no further than LifeStation. Check out my LifeStation review, which goes into greater detail.

LifeStation Key Points

  • Features: Currently, LifeStation offers an in-home cellular unit, an in-home landline unit, and a mobile option with GPS capabilities. Each of these systems is completely waterproof. Since up to 80% of falls in the home occur in the bathroom, the importance of this feature cannot be overlooked.
  • Extras: Keeping true to the minimalist spirit, LifeStation offers few add-on features and devices. Still, I appreciated the “Find My Loved One” feature, which allowed my husband to trace my location through his smartphone. Something else I loved was how additional pendants could be added to my in-home system for only $3.99 per month.
  • Battery: The in-home system has a 32-hour backup battery, which should be long enough to keep you protected through any power outage. The mobile unit also showed a good battery life, lasting about five days on a single charge.
  • In-Home Range: In my tests, I found that LifeStation’s in-home system worked up to 500 ft away from my base station.
  • What Stands Out: LifeStation proves that quality doesn’t have to come with a big price tag. Each of their systems performed flawlessly, and their monitoring agents responded to my test call with genuine care and expertise.
Pros
  • No Long-Term Contracts
  • 30-Day Money Back Guarantee
  • Water-Resistant Buttons
  • Five Day Battery Life on Mobile Unit
  • Monthly Monitoring Starting at $19.95
Cons
  • Fall Detection Somewhat Prone to False Alarms
  • Lack of Add-Ons

11. ResponseNow - Best Battery

ResponseNow
3.9 / 5
See Pricing
Call for best price:
844-617-0154
What We Like Most:
  • Quick Response Times
  • 30-Day Mobile Unit Battery
  • AT&T Cellular Service
  • No Long-Term Contracts

Overview

In my years as a caregiver, ResponseNow has always been a favorite among colleagues. It’s not hard to see why. Their reliable in-home system and innovative Belle and Belle+ cellular systems ensure that they have the right solution for any older adult looking to maintain their independence.

ResponseNow is so sure of their systems that they’ll allow you to try them out for thirty days with no strings attached. After this period, their systems start at $29.95 per month, putting them towards the higher end of pricing. Still, their solid customer service justifies the cost of entry.

Rather than offering a single, stock package with superfluous (and expensive) add-on services, ResponseNow keeps it honest. Their range of options makes it possible to personalize the amount of care and monitoring your loved one receives. And with ResponseNow’s monitoring centers being some of the best rated by the Better Business Bureau, you can trust that behind ResponseNow’s equipment is a dedicated team of professionals.

You can learn more about this reputation in my ResponseNow Review.

ResponseNow Key Points

  • Features: ResponseNow’s in-home unit has everything you’d expect or need: a base station with two-way talk, a waterproof help button is worn as either a pendant or as a wristband, and the option for automatic fall detection. Where things really get interesting, though, is with their Belle and Belle+ systems, two mobile, GPS-enabled medical alert systems, the latter of which including fall detection.
  • Extras: Currently, ResponseNow doesn’t offer anything else in the way of bonuses for its mobile units, other than the automatic fall detection included on the Belle+. Their in-home system can also be used with fall detection, in addition to a lockbox, and extra help button pendants.
  • Battery: The Belle+ boasts a battery life of up to five days on a single charge, and the Belle can last up to 30 days, depending on how often calls are made to the monitoring center.
  • In-Home Range: In my testing, the in-home system had a range of about 500 ft.
  • What Stands Out: The Belle’s 30-day battery life is ridiculously good, making it far and away the longest lasting mobile unit. Additionally, ResponseNow scores big points when it comes to customer service and the user experience. Everyone on the ResponseNow team, from sales reps to monitoring agents, demonstrated heart, dedication, and the highest standards of customer care.

Medical Alert Systems Offered

Pros
  • 30-Day Battery Life on Mobile System
  • Fabulous Customer Service
  • 30-Day Money-Back Guarantee
  • No Long-Term Contracts
  • Customer-Friendly Cancellation Terms
  • Waterproof Pendant
Cons
  • In-Home Range of Only 500 ft
  • Few Device Add-Ons
  • No Caregiver App

12. QMedic - Smartest Medical Alert System

QMedic
3.8 / 5
See Pricing
Call for best price:
855-676-0681
What We Like Most:
  • 1,000 ft In-Home Range
  • Advanced Activity Alert Features
  • Two Year Battery Life
  • No Contracts or Cancellation Fees

Overview

Developed by MIT scientists, QMedic combines the simple functionality of a medical alert system with an advanced array of proactive measures such as wellness calls and activity monitoring. Using their own proprietary equipment, QMedic gives caregivers peace of mind when it comes to keeping tabs on their loved ones. Their systems are a great choice for users who are frail, blind, or disabled.

In terms of systems, QMedic offers two in-home options, landline or cellular, in addition to a mobile unit that uses AT&T’s cellular network to connect to one of their two monitoring centers, located in Utah and Idaho. These centers are fully redundant, meaning that in the event of a power outage at one, the other would be able to fully assume its responsibilities.

Starting at $30 per month, QMedic systems are not the most affordable; however, their service plans are not tiered. All of their innovative caregiver features are included in this price. For more info on QMedic and their pricing, check out my full review.

QMedic Key Points

  • Features: Both QMedic’s in-home and mobile options feature help buttons that are completely waterproof. These systems feature two-way communication and 24/7 access to QMedic’s monitoring center. The only notable omission is automatic fall detection, which is not available with QMedic systems.
  • Extras: QMedic keeps it simple when it comes to add-ons. The real focus is the in-depth activity monitoring, which is included with all systems. With each of their systems, caregivers can check in on their loved one to make sure they’re wearing their device, that it’s charged, and if the wearer is displaying abnormal activity or inactivity levels.
  • Battery: The in-home system features a 24-hour backup battery, and the mobile device lasted me an impressive 14 days on a single charge.
  • In-Home Range: Both the cellular and landline in-home systems had a connectivity range of about 900 ft.
  • What Stands Out: QMedic shines when it comes to proactive monitoring. Their caregiver dashboard, accessible through a web browser, provides real-time access to vital information regarding the wearer. You can even arrange it so that their monitoring center will also see this information, making calls to the user in the event of inactivity.

Medical Alert Systems Offered

Pros
  • Waterproof Help Buttons
  • Detailed Proactive Activity Alerts
  • Two Year Battery Life on Pendants
  • Straightforward Pricing
  • 1,000 ft Radius for In-Home Systems
Cons
  • No Automatic Fall Detection
  • Limited Device Add-Ons

13. Alert1 - Best Cellular Coverage

Alert1
3.7 / 5
See Pricing
What We Like Most:
  • Starting at $16.95
  • Uses Either T-Mobile or AT&T
  • Free Shipping and Activation
  • Tons of Add-Ons

Overview

Alert1 has been providing medical alert services since 1988, and today they serve customers in all 50 states. All staff is U.S. based, and support is provided in 190 different languages. Alert1 has no long-term contracts and has agreed to zero termination fees for The Senior List customers. Serving all 50 states, Alert1 offers simple yet effective medical alert systems that can suit any budget. See the full equipment lineup in my Alert1 Review.

Although they require no long term contracts, they offer discounts for users who pay annually and quarterly as opposed to monthly. Alert1 is also a good fit for couples who each need their own help buttons. Every one of their medical alert packages has the option to upgrade with a discount for the second user.

Presently, Alert1 does not offer anything in the way of a caregiver app; however, what they do provide is stellar monitoring at a price that doesn’t break the bank.

Alert1 Key Points

  • Features: Alert1 offers a landline in-home option, a cellular in-home system, a mobile unit with GPS, and waterproof help buttons. Automatic fall detection is also available as an add-on on each of its systems.
  • Extras: Alert1 offers a host of products that you can use to bolster your system. First, they have an automatic medication dispenser, perfect for staying on top of regiments of supplements. They also have a voice extender, a lockbox, wall-mounted emergency buttons, a surge guard, a monitored smoke detector, and protective cases. They also offer a fall protection package, which includes two motion sensor lights and emergency buttons that can be placed at high-risk points throughout your home.
  • Battery: The in-home system features a 24-hour backup battery, while the mobile unit lasted me for almost 30 days during testing.
  • In-Home Range: The in-home system has a connectivity range of about 600 ft.
  • What Stands Out: Alert1 makes choosing the right system both uncomplicated and affordable with the help of their skilled sales team. You also have the option of choosing either AT&T or T-Mobile, whichever has the better cellular coverage in your area. If you’re looking for a system that’s both easy to install and use, look no further than Alert1.

Medical Alert Systems Offered

Pros
  • All-In-One Mobile Unit
  • Highly Affordable In-Home System ($16.95/mo)
  • Free Shipping and Activation
  • Choice of Either AT&T or T-Mobile
Cons
  • Cellular Plans Cost More Than Competitors

The Ins and Outs of Medical Alert Systems: Our Buyers Guide

If you’ve ever seen a commercial for Life Alert, then I’d wager you understand to some degree the function of a medical alert system. In the event of an emergency, a system such as this can connect you with a monitoring center, one staffed with trained professionals who will talk you through your situation and coordinate an appropriate response, whether through sending an ambulance or even contacting a neighbor.

With that said, there are many different types of medical alert systems. Some use a landline connection while others operate on cellular service. Some systems are designed to protect you at home, and others can be brought along while travelling. Nowadays, there are even some devices with proprietary smartphone apps that bring caregiving into the modern age.

How Do Medical Alert Systems Work?

At their core, all medical alert systems have a similar function. When triggered, a medical alert system will quickly connect you to a monitoring center, whose personnel will assess your situation and, if necessary, contact emergency services.

Naturally, there are several different types of medical alert systems used both in and outside the home. Here is an overview of the categories.

In-Home Medical Alert Systems

Examples of in-home medical alert systems from a variety of top rated companies.

Examples of in-home cellular medical alert systems from a variety of top rated companies.

Both types of in-home systems include a base station with a two-way speaker. This is what is used to communicate with monitoring personnel, and it’s activated through pressing a small help button worn around either the neck or wrist.

Remember to consider the range of the base station and help button, as not all systems are created equal in this regard. Currently, the best in-home systems have a range of up to 1,300 feet, which is enough to cover most sizes of homes. Generally, I recommend systems with a range large enough to cover an outdoor area of your home, as many falls occur outside.

Mobile Medical Alert Systems

Mobile or on-the-go medical alert systems are ideal for people who want access to help even while outside their home. Using a cellular connection, these alert systems feature a two-way speaker and a help button, giving you the same protection of an in-home system but in a portable package.

These are examples of cellular medical alert systems that can be taken anywhere with a cellular signal.

Some mobile medical alerts are even GPS enabled. This helpful feature allows monitoring staff and even loved ones to locate a user while their device is turned on. This feature is important as some users may be unable to verbalize their location if they are hurt, confused, or otherwise experiencing an emergency.

Medical Alert SmartWatches

The medic alert smartwatch is a recent addition to the industry. Geared towards both men and women, these modern devices provide safety in a sleek and discrete package. These systems work independently of a cell phone (with no additional cellular fees), and they look like a typical wristwatch. Not only are they stylish, life-saving devices, but they also operate as a functional watch, activity tracker, and messenger. My favorite medical alert smartwatches can even be set up to provide medication reminders and location data.

These are examples of medical alert smartwatches that don't require a smartphone.

How Does Medical Alert Monitoring Work?

Medical alert systems function as a direct line of contact between the user and a monitoring center. I know what you’re thinking: What’s a monitoring center? Put simply, monitoring centers are contracted by medical alert companies to provide 24/7 care to customers. They do so by receiving distress calls, assessing the situation (emergency or otherwise), and then contacting an appropriate response measure, whether this be medical services or a neighbor who can check in on their friend.

These monitoring centers are not your average call center either. Not only are they staffed well enough to field calls in a matter of seconds, but their specialists often receive extensive training to ensure a high degree of care.

Which Medical Alert System Is Right for You?

If you’re interested in purchasing a medical alert system, here are some questions you should consider.

In-Home or On-The-Go?

Generally speaking, medical alert systems can be broken down into these two categories, systems for use in the home and systems for use outside of it. Both types provide the same functionality; however, each of them suits a different lifestyle.

In-Home Systems connect through either a landline or cellular connection. When you press your help button (generally worn as either a wristband or pendant), you’ll be connected to the monitoring center via the base station, which has both a speaker and microphone for easy communication. This type of system is best suited for those who spend most of their time indoors, although some systems have a large enough connectivity range to cover parts of your yard.

On-The-Go Systems connect through cellular service, allowing you to travel just about anywhere with adequate service. Most often worn as a pendant, though some companies offer wristbands or smartwatch designs, these systems provide the same security and peace of mind as the in-home models but with a greater range of freedom. Generally speaking, these systems come with a higher price tag.

What Are My Monitoring Needs?

Each of the systems mentioned here come with some form of 24/7 professional monitoring; however, some of them offer additional features suited to individual needs.

With caregiver apps and platforms, loved ones and caregivers can keep tabs on the user, tracking their location, monitoring their activity, and even checking to make sure they are wearing their device.

Many medical alert providers also offer personalized response plans. With these, a call to the monitoring center can also trigger alerts to neighbors or loved ones. Although a monitoring agent can certainly contact emergency services, not every help call requires such drastic action, so I always appreciate these individualized sorts of responses.

Do I Want Fall Detection?

Most medical alert systems offer automatic fall detection, and it will cost anywhere from $5-$15 extra per month. Although it might be tempting to save money by omitting this feature, I think it’s essential and could even save your life.

What Is Automatic Fall Detection?

With falls being a leading cause of injury to older adults, it’s critical to have the proper ways of addressing this problem. Oftentimes, fall can leave a person unable to reach for help, and that’s where fall detection comes in.

Through sophisticated accelerometer technology, automatic fall detection pendants can detect a fall and automatically place a call to monitoring personnel without the user having to press the button. Keep in mind, this technology is not 100% accurate, and false alerts may occur. However, in the event that a loved one falls (or has a medical emergency) and is unable to press the button on their safety device, there is comfort in knowing that help can still be reached.

Final Words

As a lifelong caregiver to older adults, I take great pride in helping people navigate the often-complicated world of medical alert systems. Everyone deserves independence, regardless of age, and a reliable medical alert system is the perfect tool to help you do so.

If you made it this far in the article, you can tell there is a lot to know about these types of systems. But have no fear! I’m here to do the leg work, testing out the latest and greatest in caregiver technology, making it that much easier for you to remain assured that your loved ones are aging gracefully.

Medical Alert System Frequently Asked Questions

Written By
Amie Clark

Amie has been writing about senior care products and services for the last decade. She is particularly passionate about new technologies that help improve the quality of life for seniors and their families. Seeing her parents and grandparents age made Amie ask herself, “Would this be good enough for my loved ones?” In her spare time, Amie enjoys outdoor adventures and spontaneous road trips. Learn more about Amie here

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