Finding the ideal medical alert system can feel overwhelming. Medical alert systems help protect loved ones by offering expedited assistance and response times in the event of an emergency. The medical alert systems you choose will depend on your budget and assistance goals. Devices often have useful monitoring tools to provide information about a user’s location, vitals and situational needs. Medical alert systems have the ability to provide peace of mind and dignity.
The Best Medical Alert Systems
Medical alert systems help improve a person’s quality of life while increasing safety. The systems offer options designed to cater to a person’s level of activity and specific needs. When comparing medical alert systems, consider factors such as budget, personal needs, customer reviews, battery life and technological concerns.
Medical Alert is part of Connect America and provides medical alert system options such as home systems and mobile systems in addition to fall detection technology. Home systems are connected using either landlines or cellular phones. The company offers prices starting as low as $20 a month for a home system that includes continuous monitoring to protect your loved ones. Payment can be made monthly. The mobile system is slightly more expensive, around $40 per month. Plans often include a 30-day trial period.
Products such as the mobile pendant and bracelet are able to be worn in the shower and are compatible with fall detection technology. These run about $10 per month. A bonus is that the company has a mobile application to streamline connectivity. The mobile system is compatible with s GPS monitoring and multiple users. The quick-tracking tool provides updates about battery life and grants access to emergency contacts.
In terms of battery use, the mobile system can work for up to five days on one charge, and the home system includes a backup battery to safeguard against low energy.
Customer reviews on the website ranked products favorably.
LifeFone has multiple on-the-go and at-home options. The on-the-go VIPX product provides extensive location services, a battery life that extends above two weeks, water resistance and goal-setting technology. Individuals have the ability to add fall detection to a plan. Certain products offer extra features such as temperature sensing and daily reminder service. The company offers a customer portal.
In terms of pricing, some products are eligible for a month of free service, free activation and free shipping. The company offers the ability to lock in prices. Spouses have the option to receive basic coverage at no extra charge. Individuals can add fall detection for less than $10 per month and can cancel as needed. Protection frequently starts at around $25 per month to $40 per month. For an additional fee, individuals can use a caregiver mobile application. The company has no activation or equipment fees.
Overall, customers on both the company website and Trustpilot reported a high level of satisfaction with the company.
MobileHelp provides affordable services with product options such as in-home, on-the-go assistance and complete protection. The company offers useful features and tools that work with various levels of technological comprehension such as standardized button assistance to more advanced touch products. Regardless of technological level, the products offer constant monitoring. The pricing ranges from monthly to annual payments. The Classic does not require a landline, has a waterproof button and has the potential to add fall protection for an additional $10 per month. The Micro option for on-the-go assistance can be worn in the shower, uses voice guidance, has two-way communication and can be regularly tested with an included testing button. The company provides an online platform to improve customer interaction.
In terms of pricing, the equipment includes free activation. The service does not require a long-term landline or cellular contract. Individuals have the opportunity to obtain a 30-day trial period for the first few days. Coverage is generally provided by AT&T. The monthly plans for in-home coverage begin at $20 per month and around $35 per month for on-the-go products.
Customers were overall highly positive, but a few mentioned confusion in terms of returns on the Better Business Bureau (BBB) website.
Bay Alarm Medical
Bay Alarm Medical has mobile, home, smartwatch and bundle package product options. The company offers constant monitoring, with fall detection for an extra fee of $10. The SOS Mobile product is water resistant and has GPS services, 4G LTE connectivity and mobile application services.
The website allows you to select products or bundle packages. For example, the in-home basic package can cost around $20 per month, but it requires a landline. Select plans are eligible for a free month in combination with no-cost shipping. The bundle packages often begin at around $40 per month to provide the ideal amount of coverage for both inside and outside of the house. No minimum contract length and no start-up costs are required.
Customers positively mentioned the company on the Trustpilot website but mentioned room for improvement in terms of phone call service.
Medical Guardian provides a wide range of medical alert systems such as at-home and on-the-go systems. The systems provide continuous coverage and can be purchased or leased. Home systems such as the Home 2.0 and Classic Guardian can connect to a landline or cellular connection and provide up to 32 hours of backup battery power life. The Classic Guardian averages around $30 per month. The help button range extends up to 1,300 feet and is compatible with additional features such as fall detection. In terms of on-the-go systems, they all include GPS technology and are compatible with the customer care portal that can also be accessed using a mobile application. The Mobile 2.0 costs about $35 per month and provides a battery life that extends over three days while using voice-assist technology.
The company offers a free first month of service.
Customer reviews from Trustpilot ranked the company extremely lacking in terms of customer service and customer returns.
Who Needs a Medical Alert System?
Medical alert systems work best for a wide range of individuals such as grandparents, independent workers and children.
Grandparents: Grandparents and other elderly people benefit from a medical alert system if they live or vacation in a remote location away from the rest of the family. Older adults benefit from a medical alert system because it offers independence in combination with a sense of security for individuals that live a few hours away from other family members.
Independent workers: Workers that are often alone such as individuals on the night shift benefit from a medical alert system in case of an accident. Helpful GPS features offer assistance in the case of confusion or a lack of familiarity with their environment.
Children: Children are able to use a medical alert system if they are too young for a standard smartphone or are recovering from an injury. The device can facilitate direct action on the behalf of a child in times of need.
What Does a Medical Alert System Monitor?
Medical alert systems monitor a wide range of information such as the location of a user, potential falls and vitals. Such intelligent information collection has the potential to prove beneficial for people who are prone to falls or wandering by more quickly providing them with assistance in the case of an emergency.
GPS: Medical alert systems often include Global Positioning System (GPS), which allows first responders and individuals the ability to locate a user. A home-based system compared to a mobile alert system varies in terms of signal range.
Crash-detection: Many systems are able to detect crashes, which means that if an individual falls, the system notifies medical responders and family members connected with the account. Crash detection technology promotes prompt medical help in the case of a fall or unforeseen medical event.
Communication: Many devices allow users to press a button and then communicate with a member of the device support team. Providing a clear avenue for communication expedites assistance and helps individuals receive the care and attention they need.
Vitals: Certain medical alert systems monitor vitals such as heart rate to indicate if a user is experiencing distress. Monitoring vitals has the potential to prove useful if the user is unable to verbalize their needs.
Medical Alert System Considerations
When researching the wide range of available medical alert systems, consider a few key points such as how the systems are financed, the extent of the monitoring, the specifics of account management and the potential access to a mobile application. Medical alert systems continue to improve in terms of technology and provide expanding capabilities.
Financing: When comparing systems, financing options and overall price points can play a large factor in the final selection process. The systems often begin as low as $20 per month in price, but the tools and monitoring options will likely be minimal. It’s possible that your health insurance or membership in a senior organization will offset some of the related costs. Individuals with long-term care insurance have a higher chance of covering the medical alert system.
Monitoring: The extent of monitoring technology has the potential to increase the overall price of monthly and initial costs. For example, certain monitoring systems only have a button that sends out a distress signal while other monitoring systems offer more advanced GPS tracking as well as vital monitoring technology.
Account Management: Medical alert account management varies depending on the system. Some systems allow users and account overseers expedited access from a mobile phone application. Mobile applications likely improve account accessibility and allow users and account overseers the ability to test and navigate devices with ease.
Mobile Application: Medical alert systems with mobile applications potentially improve the access and quality of care received by an individual. Some medical alert systems pair with a phone or work with a mobile company to provide reliable service.
Battery Life: When contemplating a medical alert system, battery life can prove an important area of consideration. For example, some packages offer alert systems designed as wearable items such as bracelets and necklaces while other items are designed as stationary buttons. The battery lifespan of items varies depending on the item and intensity of usage.
Portability: Certain medical alert systems are designed to work at home while others are intended for daily use outside of the house. While products that provide coverage at home such as stationary buttons or limited-range necklaces may prove useful for increasingly stationary people, such items might provide little use for an active individual. Many medical alert systems provide options such as necklaces and mobile applications intended to work with active lives while using cellular reception. While mobile medical alert systems are more expensive, the larger amount of provided coverage has the potential to pay off.
Frequently Asked Questions
When comparing medical alert systems consider key benefits that stand out to you. If you are unsure, read customer reviews online to have a well-rounded perspective on how current and previous users perceived their experiences with products and services.
Does Medicare pay for medical alert systems?
Medicare does not consider medical alert systems to be durable medical equipment and doesn’t cover them. However, alternative interest groups such as the American Association of Retired Persons (AARP) provide discounts for medical alert systems.
What is the average cost of a medical alert system?
The cost of a medical alert system varies. Some medical alert systems cost less than $20 per month. Expensive medical alert systems have the potential to exceed $500, but those costs are typically fixed as one-time purchases. Some healthcare providers offset or completely cover the cost of a medical alert system. When considering the average cost of a medical alert system consider budgeting for possible installation or activation fees to have a realistic understanding of the costs.