Best Medical Alert Systems of 2020

Medical alerts are built to be a reliable lifeline In case of an emergency. We’ve compared the best providers and devices to give you the best value and protection for your loved ones. See what each medical alert has to offer for your health and safety needs.

Best Overall

Medical Guardian

Starting at $29.95

Best features

  • Supported by professional monitoring services
  • Equipped to include fall detection to instantly alert operators
  • Designed with a long battery life lasting up to 120 hours
  • Offers both landline and cellular systems

Best Value

Bay Alarm

Starting at $19.95

Best features

  • Supported by professional monitoring services
  • Equipped to include fall detection to instantly alert operators
  • Designed to be a waterproof medical alert system
  • Offers cellular systems by AT&T

Best Equipment Options

MobileHelp

Starting at $19.95

Best features

  • Supported by professional monitoring services
  • Equipped to include fall detection to instantly alert operators
  • Offers cellular systems by AT&T
  • Designed to be a waterproof medical alert system

Best Monitoring

ADT Health

Starting at $29.99

Best features

  • Supported by professional monitoring services
  • Equipped to include fall detection to instantly alert operators
  • Offers both landline and cellular systems
  • Designed to be a waterproof medical alert system

Best Location Tracking

GetSafe

Starting at $25.00

Best features

  • Supported by professional monitoring services
  • Equipped with two-way voice and audio during emergencies
  • Equipped to include fall detection to instantly alert operators
  • Offers cellular systems

Best Medical Alert Systems of 2020

Medical Alert Systems

Medical Alert Systems

Medical alert systems are emergency medical devices designed to make contact with a monitoring specialist, caregiver, or designated individual in the event you need assistance. There are a number of different types of medical alert systems to include those that come with a base station for the home, wearables like pendants or wristlets, and mobile devices you can take with you. Medical alert providers offer different types of systems to fit individuals’ lifestyles, from those who may have less active lifestyles to those who are more active.

8 Best Medical Alert Systems

8 Best Medical Alert Systems

How to Choose a Medical Alert System

How to Choose a Medical Alert System

  • Ease of use

    If you’re in need of immediate medical assistance, you should be able to press a button to monitoring professionals for help. Most medical alert systems are equipped with a base station or cellular signals for built-in two-way audio to clearly speak with professionals. Your monitoring center professionals will then send emergency responders on your behalf. If your medical alert system isn’t professionally monitored, when you press the button it will call from a list of pre-selected contacts. Make sure you understand how the medical alert system and it’s features work before buying so you’ll know what to do in the event of an emergency.

  • Response time

    When considering medical alert systems, factor in the time it will take to get emergency assistance. While most medical alert systems offer professional monitoring, it may take from seconds to minutes before a professional can assist you. Response times from agents vary depending on the medical alert system’s provider.

  • Landline vs. cellular connection

    Some medical alert systems are designed with base stations that connect to your home’s landline to signal for help when you press a button to speak to emergency responders or to a cellular network. If you’re considering a landline system, it’s important to know how far the range extends from the home console or base station to stay within reach if accidents happen. If you’re on the go, consider a system with a cellular connection. Medical alert systems with 4G LTE or other cellular connections allow you to call for help anywhere using GPS technology to notify emergency responders of your location.

  • Professional monitoring

    The best medical alert systems offer professional monitoring services to notify your listed loved ones and emergency responders on your behalf for a monthly fee. Most medical alert system monitoring costs can range from $20/mo. up to $90/mo. depending on the provider. If you opt not to have professional monitoring, some providers include a one-press button to immediately call your pre-determined emergency contacts.

  • Medical needs

    Medical systems are not ‘one size fits all.’ Think about what features you may want now and in the near future. Evaluate any disorders and hindrances such as dementia or amnesia to find the best easy-to-use medical alert system with the features you need. Some ailments may require your medical alert system to be catered to health concerns including fall detection, more visible visual alerts or automatic activity monitoring to regularly check on loved ones.

  • Cost

    Some medical alert systems have hefty monthly costs that can add up. Additional costs may include equipment, professional monitoring and fall detection to automatically send an alert for help if your medical alert detects a fall without pressing a button or calling. Some monthly fees can range from as little as $30/mo. up to $90/mo. on a month-to-month basis. Be cautious of any long-term contracts, activation and cancellation costs found in the terms and conditions.

Monitoring starting price $29.95/mo. $19.95/mo. $19.95/mo. $29.99/mo. $25.00/mo. $49.95/mo. $24.99/mo.
Contract None None None None None 3 years None with phone
Connectivity Landline and cellular Cellular Cellular Landline and cellular Cellular Landline and cellular Cellular
Range 1,300 feet 1,000 feet 600 feet 600 feet 2,000 feet 800 feet 150 feet
GPS Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Fall detection Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes No Yes
No-risk return policy Cancel anytime Cancel anytime Cancel anytime N/A 30 days 30 days 30 days
Trial period None 30 days 30 days N/A 30 days 30 days 30 days
BBB rating A+ A+ A+ B+ C+ A+ A+
Best for Overall Value Equipment options Monitoring Location Tracking Brand Recognition User-Friendly Devices
Compare Medical Alert Systems

Compare Medical Alert Systems

  1. Best Overall

    Medical Guardian

    Starting at $29.95/mo

    Our take

    The Medical Guardian medical alert system is designed with a one-press emergency button and GPS technology to identify your device’s location to send help as quickly as possible. Medical Guardian’s medical alert system also is equipped with low-battery notifications, Medical Guardian’s alert watch also offers Text-to-Speech Messaging for hands-free texting and read-aloud messaging to pre-selected contacts. This medical alert also sends automated doctor’s appointment and medication reminders.

    What we like

    • Multiple options based on customer lifestyles
    • Landline and cellular options
    • Month-to-month payments for monitoring

    What we don’t like

    • Activity detection not available with all home packages
    • No trial period
  2. Best Value

    Bay Alarm

    Starting at $19.95/mo

    Our take

    The Bay Alarm Medical system detects signals up to 1,000 feet with four different medical alert systems to help protect you at all times – whether in the car, home or on the go with AT&T 4G LTE. Simply push the button and 24/7 professional monitoring to assist you by alerting your emergency contacts and emergency responders on your behalf.

    What we like

    • Complimentary spouse monitoring
    • 2019 CES Innovation Award Honoree
    • Many packages and devices

    What we don’t like

    • Additional cost to add cellular monitoring
    • Additional cost for fall detection
    • Relatively expensive
  3. Best Equipment Options

    MobileHelp

    Starting at $19.95/mo

    Our take

    The Mobile Help medical alert is a cellular system without long-term contracts and activation fees. Mobile Help offers both in-home and mobile medical alert equipment The MobileHelp Smart Watch includes a built-in Samsung Health app to monitor your heart rate and set fitness and dietary goals for better health.

    What we like

    • Many device and package options
    • Price decreases when paid quarterly, semi-annually, or annually
    • No up-front equipment fee for most packages

    What we don’t like

    • Fall detection costs extra
    • Packages and pricing change frequently
  4. Best Monitoring

    ADT Health

    Starting at $29.99/mo

    Our take

    The ADT Health medical alert system offers both landline and cellular systems that feature. both home and ‘On-The-Go’ options to give you 24/7 protection in the event of an emergency. This waterproof medical alert system also offers fall detection and monitoring professionals trained specially for seniors.

    What we like

    • Well-established reputation for emergency monitoring
    • GPS location tracking
    • Fall detection option

    What we don’t like

    • Landline required for basic package
    • Limited range in basic packages
    • Additional fee for fall detection
  5. Best Location Tracking

    GetSafe

    Starting at $25.00/mo

    Our take

    The Get Safe medical alert system offers both traditional and hardwired medical alert systems for your home using a 4G LTE cellular network. If you need help, you’ll be able to push a voice-activated button or pull a cord to get emergency medical attention. Get Safe also offers waterproof alert buttons with a 5-year battery. Get Safe offers a variety of medical alert equipment including wearable ‘Help’ buttons, indoor cameras and voice-enabled consoles installed throughout your home.

    What we like

    • In-house coverage doesn’t require a wearable device
    • Cellular connections allow for easy installation
    • Mobile help button has an accompanying app so caregivers can keep an eye on loved ones

    What we don’t like

    • No landline connectivity options
    • Wearable devices and mobile help buttons aren’t included with any pre-set packages – you must add them on separately
    • Add-ons get expensive quickly
  6. Life Alert

    Starting at $/mo

    Our take

    The Life Alert medical system detects signals within 800 feet and is equipped with 24/7 professional monitoring to help keep you safe. The medical system bracelet and pendant wearables are both waterproof to help you with any medical emergencies. Life Alert also has a mobile app so you can quickly reach their monitoring service using your smartphone. Their on-the-go medical alert systems are designed with GPS technology to send help to the right place without giving step-by-step directions.

    What we like

    • Devices are easy to use
    • Over 30 years of experience in the medical alerts sector

    What we don’t like

    • Limited customization and capabilities
    • Hard-to-find price information
    • No online ordering
    • Three-year contract
  7. Best for Cellular Systems

    GreatCall

    Starting at $24.99/mo

    Our take

    GreatCall provides an array of packages and mobile devices with smart features to help keep seniors independent. This leading provider offers 24/7 access to nurses and doctors and brain games to support seniors’ mental health. GreatCall’s easy-to-use waterproof senior-friendly devices include the Jitterbug phone with a 5Star Urgent Response button and voice typing feature, as well as the Lively Mobile Plus, a mobile call button for emergency medical assistance. Their agents are certified by the International Academies of Emergency Dispatch to safely and effectively get seniors the help they need when they need it most.

    What we like

    • Competitive starting price for mobile medical alert device with GPS tracking
    • Mobile phones eliminate the need to worry about landline connections altogether
    • Flip phones and smartphones available

    What we don’t like

    • No in-home landline options
    • Mobile pendant is too large to wear on the wrist
    • Must pay device fees up front

Showing 5 of 7 providers

Showing 7 of 7 providers

Medical Alert Equipment and Features

Medical Alert Equipment and Features

Each medical alert provider offers a variety of equipment to help keep your loved ones safe at home and on the go. Here are a few popular picks to shop for:
Best Medical Alert System Features to Shop For

Best Medical Alert System Features to Shop For

  • Two-way audio

    Some medical alert systems are equipped with two-way audio to communicate with monitoring assistants without searching for your cellphone or other security equipment. Most two-way audio hardwired consoles and wearables include a one-press button to signal for help and are designed with a speaker and microphone to talk to agents clearly.

  • Fall detection

    The fall detection feature will automatically alert your medical alert system provider or emergency responders to get help quickly. The fall detection feature is often an additional monthly fee depending on the provider. Keep in mind that fall detection for medical alert systems may not detect 100% of falls or may send false alarms if the signal is triggered such as dropping the wearable on the ground.

  • Instant notifications

    Whether you need a low-battery alert for your medical wearable or a quick reminder about your doctor’s appointment, some of the best medical alerts have the power to help you stay on top of your health with reminder alerts. Simply program the reminder option using the device or your medical alert system’s app to receive an instant notification when you need it.

Questions to Ask About Medical Alert System Providers

Questions to Ask About Medical Alert System Providers

Before buying a medical alert device the following questions should help you decide on a plan and provider to best meet your medical needs.

  • Do you offer landline or cellular connectivity for your medical alert system?
  • What is your average medical alert device range?
  • Do you offer fall detection? How much does it cost?
  • Is a professional monitoring service available? How much does it cost?
  • Is your medical alert device a wearable? Is it battery-powered? Is it waterproof?
  • Do you offer GPS tracking in your medical alert devices?
  • What is the average response time for monitoring agents?
  • Are there any activation or cancellation fees?
  • Do you offer any discounts or special offers?
Questions to Ask Your Doctor About Medical Alert Systems

Questions to Ask Your Doctor About Medical Alert Systems

Before you buy a medical alert system it’s best to check with your doctor to review your health needs and recommendations. Here are a few other questions you should ask:

  • Do I need a medical alert system?
  • Do I need fall detection? 
  • What equipment do you recommend? 
  • Do I need a wearable or an in-house system?
  • Where should I place the base station based on my health?
  • Do you have any recommendations or other factors to consider as I decide?

 

How Much Does a Medical Alert System Cost?

How Much Does a Medical Alert System Cost?

Medical alert monitoring costs can range from $19/mo. – $50/mo. Some medical alert providers will also charge for equipment on top of monitoring. Most medical alert systems come with a monitoring charge. This allows you, a loved one, or a patient to receive around-the-clock assistance in the event of a medical emergency. Typically, you can request assistance at the press of a button on a neck pendant, wristband, wall button, or base system.

Medical Alert System FAQs

Medical Alert System FAQs

What is a medical alert system?

A medical alert system is a piece of hardware connected to software to signal an emergency. The most popular medical alerts are wearables with a one-press button connected to a professional monitoring center that will assist in getting help.

How do I know if I need a medical alert system?

Medical alert systems are designed for older adults who live alone, are prone to falling or have a medical condition that may impact day-to-day activities. Medical alert systems are designed to provide peace of mind just in case an emergency happens. Feel free to consult with your doctor about any recommendations based on your health and daily activities.

I have a home security system, do I need a medical alert system?

While most fully-monitored home security systems include a ‘Panic’ button to signal for help, keep in mind it’s not specially designed for medical attention. This button also may be built into your security system console, making it ineffective if you’re away from home or not close to the console when the accident occurs.

Do I need Wi-Fi for my medical alert?

Most medical alert devices that have built-in GPS require Wi-Fi, but it’s best to check with your provider.

Are medical alerts waterproof?

Some alerts are waterproof, but it’s best to check with your provider to determine if the device is waterproof to be used in the shower.

Where should I install my medical alert unit in my home?

Check with your doctor and the medical alert provider for the best place in your home. Some recommend the most commonly used area of your home.

Does health insurance cover medical alerts?

It’s best to check with your insurance provider for coverage and other offers, but most don’t. You can also purchase medical alerts with most flexible spending account providers with a note from a doctor.


dashia

Written by

Dashia Starr

Dashia researches and writes on all things home automation and security. She focuses on the latest news, products, and providers to share only the best with you.