Comparing the Best Medical Alerts

There are dozens of medical alert companies to choose from, and each one offers many devices and plans. It can be difficult to know which system is right for you, but we’ve done the hard work for you.

Medical Guardian base station with alert buttons, mobile alert and medical alert smartwatch.
Medical Guardian System

At their core, all medical alert systems share a common goal: keep people safe in their homes or on the go. Through a combination of help buttons, speakerphones, and other features, they provide a simple means for you to communicate with both first responders and your loved ones. You’ll find, however, that medical alert providers differ in devices, pricing, and overall performance.

Below is what you should consider when comparing medical alert providers.

Did You Know: Are you new to the world of medical alert systems? Take a look at my comprehensive guide to medical alerts to learn more about this lifesaving technology.

Bay Alarm Medical medical alert systems
Bay Alarm Medical medical alert systems

The Best Medical Alert Providers Compared

Most Affordable System Long-Term Contracts Fall Detection GPS Device Additional Help Buttons
Medical Guardian $29.95 per month Not required $10 per month $39.95 per month $10 per month
Bay Alarm Medical $19.95 per month Not required $10 per month $29.95 per month $35 one-time charge
ADT Health $29.95 per month Not required $10 per month $39.99 per month $14.99 one-time charge
Lifeline $29.95 per month Not required $10 per month $49.95 per month Not available
Aloe Care Health $24.99 per month Not required Included with most systems $24.99 per month Not available
Medical Alert $19.95 per month Not required $10 per month $37.95 per month Not available
LifeFone $29.95 per month Not required $10 per month $39.95 per month $39.95 one-time charge
Lively $24.95 per month Not required $20 per month $24.95 per month Not Available

What to Look for in a Medical Alert

Despite their similar functionality, there are some key aspects to look for when you’re purchasing a medical alert system. They may not all pertain to you, but it’s important to know what features are available and how much they cost.

Professional Monitoring

Behind every medical alert system worth its salt is a team of highly trained professionals. A medical alert system is a communication tool, after all, so you’ll want the people answering your calls to be skilled at navigating potentially life-threatening scenarios.

When you’re considering a medical alert provider, look for companies that own their own monitoring centers rather than hiring third parties. If a company boasts certifications from the Monitoring Association, you know you’ll be in the hands of trained professionals.

LifeStation Fall Detection Buttons
LifeStation Fall Detection Buttons

Fall Detection

The National Council on Aging reports that falls are the No. 1 cause of fatal injuries among seniors in the United States. Purchasing a medical alert system with fall detection may reduce your fear of a fall, leaving you feeling safer at home and outside. Fall detection typically costs an extra $10 per month, but its benefits cannot be overstated.

Pricing and Contracts

We all want the most bang for our buck, but pricing can be a bit tricky when it comes to medical alert systems. Rather than requiring you to purchase your system, most companies lease their equipment for a monthly fee that includes both the equipment and monitoring costs. Some companies charge equipment fees and activation fees, and charge extra for accessories.

You should never lock into a long-term contract with a medical alert provider. Most companies offer discounts for annual (as opposed to monthly) payments, but the best providers will not require you to sign any sort of long-term deal.

GPS

Traditional medical alerts offered protection only in the home, but, in recent years, many companies have introduced mobile devices. Operating on a cellular signal, these devices can be taken just about anywhere, and their GPS technology allows monitoring agents to track your location and send help to the right place.

Spouse Monitoring

Even for people who live with a spouse or roommate, a medical alert system can offer some much-needed protection. I appreciate it when medical alert companies allow you to purchase additional buttons for the same system. Why bother purchasing a second system when you can just augment a single one?

Did You Know: Are you looking to purchase a medical alert system for multiple people? Check out my rundown of the best medical alert systems for couples and roommates.

Caregiver Features

Many medical alert companies now offer companion smartphone apps that allow your loved ones to keep track of your system’s status. Aloe Care Health’s systems, for example, can track battery life, location, and activity levels, and even make direct calls to your device from a smartphone. Caregiver features like these can help your loved ones keep better track of your care plan.

In-Depth Comparisons of Medical Alert Companies

MobileHelp Base Station with other equipment
MobileHelp Base Station with other equipment

In addition to our detailed medical alert reviews, we’ve also compiled in-depth comparisons outlining how popular companies stack up in terms of features, performance, and pricing.

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