The Best Medical Alert Smart Watches

Some new medical alert devices are actually medical alert smartwatches worn on the wrist vs the traditional pendant technology (worn around the neck).
Amie Clark
Some new medical alert devices are actually medical alert smartwatches worn on the wrist vs the traditional pendant technology (worn around the neck).
Freedom Guardian
#1
Overall Rating:
5 / 5
See Pricing What We Like ↓
WellBe Watch
#2
Overall Rating:
4.5 / 5
See Pricing What We Like ↓
Lively Wearable2
#3
Overall Rating:
4.2 / 5
See Pricing What We Like ↓

What Is a Medical Alert Watch?

Medical Alert Smartwatch
Medical Alert Smartwatch

A medical alert watch is a smartwatch that allows users to track and monitor their health right from their wrists. Many of these devices allow you to call for emergency assistance, track location, and even keep track of medications. In my experience, they can be very helpful for active seniors, in addition to their loved ones looking for a way to keep tabs on their health and safety.

Like with all new technology, smartwatches vary in quality and cost. When considering which model might best suit your lifestyle, there are a number of factors to think about.

FYI: Studies show that seniors are not opposed to embracing new technology but get nervous about a lack of easy-to-understand instructions.

What to Look for in a Medical Alert Watch

If you’re looking to purchase a medical alert smartwatch, pay close attention to the following:

  • Ease of use: Some high-tech devices offer a wide range of features but can be complicated to use. When it comes to a medical alert watch, you’ll definitely want something with an intuitive design and accessible features.
  • Battery life: The battery life of smartwatches varies depending on the kind of battery and how heavily the device is used on a daily basis. Most of the medical alert watches reviewed here have a battery life of one to two days before the watch needs to be recharged.
  • Location tracking: Some medical alert watches utilize GPS location technology so that in the event of an emergency, first responders are able to show up to the right place as quickly as possible. Location tracking can also be helpful to caregivers looking to keep track of their loved ones’ whereabouts.
  • Two-way talk: In the event of an emergency, some medical alert watches allow users to speak directly to the medical alert monitoring center from the smartwatch on their wrist. This is especially helpful if a phone is out of reach.
  • Alerts and reminders: Like with smartphone technology, smartwatches can be set to provide regular reminders for activities like taking daily medication. This feature can provide peace of mind that necessary routines will happen on schedule.
  • Pricing: As with all technology, the price will vary depending on the brand, the model, and the features offered by the smartwatch chosen. Keep in mind, though, that most of these medical alert watches have an up-front cost for the equipment and then an additional monthly cost for medical monitoring.

FYI: Most smartwatches use cell phone apps to monitor and manage available features.

The Best Medical Alert Watches of 2021

  • #1 Freedom Guardian

    What We Like Most:

    • Weather forecast
    • Text-to-speech messaging
    • Companion phone app
    • Emergency assistance button

    Overview

    Overview: Made by Medical Guardian, the Freedom Guardian watch packs nearly all the medical alert system features into a discreet and lightweight package, one that fits comfortably on your wrist.

    Cost: $299 for the watch; $44.99 per month for monitoring

    Features: The Freedom Guardian medical alert smartwatch has a number of features geared specifically for seniors. This watch allows users to send and receive text messages without needing to type on a keyboard. The watch will read incoming messages out loud and translate spoken responses into text messages so that replying to friends and family can be both quick and easy. This watch will also read out loud other helpful information, such as the date, time, and personalized alerts. Pressing the button on the side of the watch and holding it down for three seconds sends an automatic request for emergency help.

    Features of the Freedom Guardian can be accessed through the Companion Mobile app, available for Android and iPhone. This app can also share location information with the user’s loved ones, which can be especially helpful in the event of an emergency.

    Battery life: 48 hours

    Pros

    • Weather forecast
    • Text-to-speech messaging
    • Companion phone app
    • Emergency assistance button

    Cons

    • No fall detection
    • No step counter or heart monitor
  • #2 WellBe Watch

    What We Like Most:

    • Digital or analog watch face
    • 4G with GPS technology
    • Two-way talk
    • Helpful companion app
    4.5 / 5
    View Packages

    Overview

    Emergency Call on the WellBe Smartwatch
    Emergency Call on the WellBe Smartwatch

    Overview: Made by HandsFree Health, the WellBe Watch is an emergency alert smartwatch that provides emergency assistance around the clock as well as tracks medical and health information for users.

    Cost: $179.95 for the watch; $34.95 per month for service

    Features: The WellBe Watch provides users with 24/7 emergency assistance on a 4G network. When help is needed, the WellBe Watch turns into a communication tool that lets users speak to an emergency operator directly from their smartwatch. It also monitors heart rate and tracks the number of steps the wearer takes each day. Like most other medical smartwatches, the WellBe Watch works with a mobile app; theirs is called the WellBe Virtual Assistant, and it tracks medications and appointments, as well as stores medical records.

    Battery life: up to 24 hours

    Pros

    • Two-way talk
    • Professional monitoring
    • Heart rate monitor and step counter
    • Companion app
    • 4G cellular connection

    Cons

    • Relatively short battery life
  • #3 GreatCall Lively Wearable2

    What We Like Most:

    • 24/7 emergency assistance
    • Fall detection
    • Unique UrgentCare ability
    4.2 / 5
    View Packages

    Overview

    Overview: The Lively Wearable 2 is an affordable option in medical alert smartwatches that offers a wider variety of features, both for safety and wellness.

    Cost: $49.99 for equipment; $24.99 – $39.99 for monthly service, depending on subscription level.

    Features: Made by GreatCall, the Lively Wearable 2 is a water-resistant smartwatch that tracks a user’s steps, provides daily tips for leading a healthy lifestyle, and offers 24/7 protection for everything from health emergencies to everyday problems like getting locked out of your house or car. The Lively Wearable 2 device boasts a battery life of up to four months, much longer than other comparable medical alert watches. The starting equipment cost is also substantially lower than many others, and customers have a choice of three different options of subscription level depending on which features best suit the user’s lifestyle. The Lively Wearable 2 can be worn on the wrist or around the neck as a lanyard, and when worn as a lanyard can be equipped with fall detection technology.

    Battery life: Up to four months

    Pros

    • 24/7 emergency assistance
    • Fall detection
    • Unique UrgentCare ability

    Cons

    • No touch screen
    • No apps or extras
  • What We Like Most:

    • Industry Leading Equipment
    • 24/7 Monitoring Service
    • Fall Detection Can be Added to Any System
    • Best System for Couples
    MobileHelp logo
    4.0 / 5

    Overview

    Overview: MobileHelp Smart is an option in medical smartwatch technology powered by Samsung. With a wide array of features to monitor and structure a healthy lifestyle, MobileHelp Smart is a high-tech device for those that want to maintain a fit and balanced day-to-day routine.

    Cost: $349.95 for the watch; $24.95 for monthly monitoring

    Features: The MobileHelp Smart works as a two-way communication device so that users have 24/7 access to emergency operators directly from their watch. Geared to help individuals track and plan for optimum health. The Samsung Health app is built into the device, which monitors activity and tracks heart rate. It also allows users to set targets for physical fitness and then compiles easy-to-follow records. Some activities that the MobileHelp Smart can track in addition to heart rate are daily step totals, floors climbed, and amounts of calories, water, and caffeine consumed. There is also a range of Workout Modes that can help users structure a fitness plan that works best for them.

    Battery life: 48 hours

    Pros

    • Duo is one of the only two-in-one systems available
    • Flexible pricing plans
    • No landline required for in-home systems
    • Stylish smartwatch option, great for men
    • Two pendants included with every system
    • No long-term contracts
    • Simple, easy to understand pricing
    • High quality equipment
    • Free lockbox with all orders
    • FDA-compliant

    Cons

    • Fall detection and cellular are two separate units
    • Initial set-up fee for in-home unit (monthly plan only)
  • #5 Apple Watch Series 5

    What We Like Most:

    • Smartphone features
    • Wide range of custom apps
    • Water-resistant
    • Fall detection option
    3.7 / 5

    Overview

    Overview: The Apple Watch Series 5 is a high-tech option in smart devices. Offering much more than standard medical alert smartwatches, the Apple Watch Series 5 is backed by one of the leading technology giants today.

    Cost: Varies; Apple smartwatches can be purchased from a variety of online and brick-and-mortar stores in both new and used condition. The Series 5 has been discontinued by Apple but can still be purchased from other stores that sell electronics. For a new Apple Series 5 smartwatch, prices tend to start at around $375.

    Features: Created by the same company as the iPhone, the Apple Series 5 is a smartwatch that includes many features found in smartphones. It can track a wearer’s heart rate, speed of physical activity, calories burned, and minutes of overall activity per day. It also keeps a Daily Workout Memory so that users can study their fitness habits. The Apple Watch Series 5 is also waterproof and can track activities such as swimming laps in a pool. This device is capable of making calls to emergency services while at or away from home, and even when traveling internationally. Fall detection is an available function that can be turned on or off at the user’s discretion. Additional health apps can be purchased through the Apple App Store and used with the Apple Watch 5 Series smartwatch.

    Battery life: 18 hours

    Pros

    • International call capabilities
    • Wide range of custom apps
    • Fall detection
    • Waterproof

    Cons

    • Requires an iPhone
    • Potentially steep learning curve
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

22 Comments

  1. Love to see the Wellbe Smartwatch made your list. I purchased mine from Amazon a few months ago and really enjoy it. I saw a couple comments talking about issues with GPS on other devices, I have tested the Wellbe watch in a few places and the monitoring center has known my location each time. My battery also lasts until I charge it each night.
    1. Hello! Yes, these are shower-proof as are most medical alert pendants and wrist buttons. Hope that helps, Amie
      1. Qardio is a great device for taking and recording blood pressure. I’ve had mine for about 2 years and I couldn’t be happier.
  2. I loved my Medical Guardian smart watch after switching to it from a heavy pendant but it could not pick up a signal from my area so I had to surrender it and return to the cumbersome pendant. This is a problem consumers are not made aware of when purchasing the watch…Too bad.
  3. Tried med alert watches from three different companies. Lifebeacon, Mobile Help (Samsung watch) and Freedom Guardian. All contracts terminated and devices returned for credit because of the inability of monitoring service to accurately locate wearer via GPS. One provider sent police car to my home after device made accidental call although I was ten miles from my home. Others also inaccurate – quote for all is within 10 feet of location. Accuracy by monitoring station is sporadic. Side by side comparison of GPS location with IPhone App resulted in excellent signal and location accuracy from iPhone but not for the devices. Bases for recommending product without addressing GPS accuracy, is misleading. Industry and/or government standards are needed.
  4. My 80 year old mother has Dementia and we are look for a device that she would be willing to wear. So it would have to be discrete or a watch. She no longer uses her smart phone. Ideally it would have GPS tracking that could be monitored by more than one family member, would have fall technology, a geo fence, an emergency button and 2 way talk. Is there anything like this on the market? What would be the best option?
    1. Hi there- I would check out the Medical Guardian smartwatch, called Freedom Guardian. It’s best suited for women (as opposed to the other smartwatch option which is better suited for men due to its size). The Freedom Guardian does not require a cell phone to works and has most of the features you are looking for. You can learn more about the smartwatch here.

  5. After wearing a Medic Alert neck tag without removing 47+ years, (except 5 nights) new technology and increasing needs are here. I am looking for a monitor to help preceding an episode. My spouse and I need freedom as well as security. What is good?
  6. I’m looking at devices for a female parent…and those watches look like something a man would wear….big and clunky. I hope the technology improves so that smaller and more attractive devices are developed that an elderly woman wouldn’t be averse to wearing.
  7. Medical Guardian is very unreliable if you live outside of large city. Their technical support staff is not very knowledgeable and their Document Management (Forms with Contact info) is ridiculous. Had to finally send it by FedEx for them to receive it. They lost at least 3 forms. Very frustrating and no one to really be able to assist.
  8. I was excited to have my “Guardian Freedom” watch. Then unable to activate/use it, because ATT couldn’t find my house! 🙁 We live in a forest, 1/2 mile from a town road and our house can be located on Google Maps. Our cars’ GPS can also locate our house. Don’t know what the problem is with ATT. I’m really disappointed. Our mobile service is from Verizon. So, I’ll try to find a service that uses Verizon.
      1. Great call just had a recall and their only option right now is the jitterbug flip phone
  9. I need to know what the price of one for a 70 year old lady. She is on a limited income and needs one Thank you in advance for your answer.
  10. These medical watches are really blessings, I really want to buy for my parents. Thank you for this article so I get to know about this because they are so affordable. Keep posting such things. Thank you once again.
  11. You forgot to mention The CES show in Vegas also invited WGN because their HeloLX and HeloLX+ a health wristband takes EKG from wrist, Blood Pressure, Sleep, Steps and Measures Sugar Levels for Diabetics, has an SOS alert for seniors or people with conditions that need monitoring, etc. I wear one for my blood pressure and it gives me peace of mind and the ability to help myself. I can also send the results via SMS to my doctor without having to waste time or pay for a visit 😉 This one is NOT a watch, but does so much more than many of the others and unique in medical care.

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