Medical Alert Systems, also known as Personal Emergency Response Systems (PERS) are small devices for individuals used to alert authorities, friends, family, or caregivers in the event of an emergency. Medical Alert Systems come in many forms and styles. They are most commonly worn on the wrist, as a necklace pendant, clipped to a belt, or carried in a pocket or purse.
Medical alert systems can be home or cellular based and newer systems are equipped with GPS, automatic fall detection, activity tracking, medication reminders, and even geo-fence alerts.
Our Team Has Been Providing Medical Alert System Reviews for Years
We have seen technology evolve and improve, companies come and go, and heard the praises and complaints from consumers. Finding the right medical alert system can be tedious, but it's important to understand what options are available.
- In-Home vs Cellular: In-home medical alert systems are limited to the range of the unit placed inside the home. Most require a land-line although there are a few newer cellular-based in-home systems. These systems have a range of anywhere from 400-1500 square feet from the base unit, but are not effective outside the boundaries of the home or yard. Cellular alert systems will work anywhere a cell signal is available.
- GPS Enabled: Alert systems that are GPS enabled have the ability to notify call centers or emergency services of the location of the device and likely, the user.
- Automatic Fall Detection: An accelerometer senses motion and velocity (they are commonly found in cell phones and airplanes). In medical alert systems, they can detect falls. However, they are not 100% accurate, they can trigger false alarms and may not catch all falls.
We Have Identified Common Mistakes Consumers Make When Purchasing a Medical Alert System
- Choosing the wrong type of medical alert system for your needs: Cellular or in-home based? Pendant or Watch? Speakerphone? Waterproof?
- Locked into a long term contract: What happens if you don't need it anymore? Return and Refund policy? Who pays for shipping? Who owns the equipment?
- Not enough coverage for the size of your home: In-home units have a range anywhere from a 400-1500 square feet radius. Walls can impact this range.
- Waiting too long to start using a medical alert system: Do your research before an emergency arises. Signs such as unsteady gait, weakness, living alone and history of falls are all signs that safety is at risk.
- Getting a system that is difficult to install: Who installs the system? Does a representative visit your home? What support is available if you install it yourself? Is special equipment needed?
- Hidden fees: It can be difficult to weed out hidden fees in the fine print. Make sure you read the contract, understand if there are fees for the equipment, or if you will have to pay a penalty if you cancel the service.
What We Look for When We Conduct Medical Alert System Reviews
- Other Online Reviews: We check online reviews to obtain a sense of overall service, and performance. Having tracked this industry for many years, we’re well aware that nobody’s perfect. Our expectation isn’t that every review is going to be positive… BUT if we see medical alert companies being proactive and responsive to customer inquiries – that’s a good sign the medical alert provider cares about their customers (and ultimately their reputation).
- Community Feedback: When we review medical alerts we receive a lot of great feedback from our visitors on product performance, customer service, and overall satisfaction. We listen to that feedback and monitor how each company responds.
- No Long Term Contracts: We don't believe in long term contracts. There are many quality providers out there that allow consumers to exit their agreements when their loved one no longer requires the service.
- Easy to Work With: The companies we recommend are typically very responsive if we reach out with questions or concerns. Occasionally we’ll get involved on our reader’s behalf to try to rectify customer service issues if/when they come up. Some companies are great to work with, some are not. We won’t recommend companies that aren’t responsive to us (or consumers).
- Quality Products: Most of the medical alert systems on the market are up-to-date with the latest tech, but some are better than others (form factors, household radius, intuitive set-up, etc.) Simply put, we avoid inadequate hardware and we personally test most of the hardware when we write medical alert system reviews.
- Reasonable Monthly Costs: Most in-home systems range from $20-$30 per month. If a system has additional features like automatic fall detection, GPS, or cellular technology, they tend to run from $30-$50 per month. Any more than $50 per month seems unreasonable to us. What's really exciting are the products that cost a one time fee with no reoccurring charges.
Are You Ready to Check Out a Few Medical Alert Systems for Yourself or a Loved One?
Do your homework now, before a crisis occurs, allowing you to make the best decision when it comes to choosing a medical alert system.
Medical Alert Company Reviews
You can also take a look at our list of reviews for some of the top medical alert systems on the market: