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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.
Updated Apr 16, 2020

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

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.

Medical Guardian

MobileHelp


Life Alert


GreatCall


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
NoneNoneNoneNoneNone3 yearsNone with phone
Connectivity
Landline and cellularCellularCellularLandline and cellularCellularLandline and cellularCellular
Range
1,300 feet1,000 feet 600 feet600 feet2,000 feet 800 feet150 feet
GPS
YesYesYesYesYesYesYes
Fall detection
YesYesYesYesYesNoYes
No-risk return policy
Cancel anytimeCancel anytimeCancel anytimeN/A30 days30 days30 days
Trial period
None30 days30 daysN/A30 days30 days30 days
BBB rating
A+A+A+B+C+A+A+
Best for
OverallValueEquipment optionsMonitoringLocation TrackingBrand RecognitionUser-Friendly Devices

Compare Medical Alert Systems

  • Best Overall

    Medical Guardian

    Starting at
    $29.95/mo

    Our take

    Medical Guardian is a trusted name that offers a fantastic service. This system features a simple one-press emergency button, which alerts the monitoring center instantly. Every package features a simple base unit with a button to call for help, as well as a neck pendant or wristwatch that can be used to call for help whenever and wherever needed.

    Medical Guardian doesn’t require a contract, and the flexible pricing structure makes it a great choice.

    Pros

    • Medical necklace included in basic package
    • Landline or cellular options
    • Month-to-month agreement

    Cons

    • No trial period
    • Costs more for fall detection
    • Activity detection not available with all home packages

    Research Medical Guardian

  • Best Value

    Bay Alarm Medical

    Starting at
    $19.95/mo

    Our take

    Bay Alarm Medical offers a strong range of alert system packages. Each package comes with 24/7 monitoring and a necklace or wristwatch alert system. If you want to include your spouse, Bay Alarm offers free protection for both of you. For a more comprehensive package, you can add extra wall buttons or fall detection. You can also upgrade to cellular protection rather than a landline.

    Pros

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

    Cons

    • Costs more to add cellular monitoring
    • Costs more for fall detection

    Research Bay Alarm

  • Best Equipment Options

    Mobile Help

    Starting at
    $19.95/mo

    Our take

    MobileHelp features optional smartwatch integration that monitors your health with a built-in Samsung Health app. MobileHelp also offers more equipment options than many of its competitors, but these options do drive the price up. The good news is that there aren’t any upfront costs for most packages, unlike many competitors.

    Pros

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

    Cons

    • Fall detection costs extra
    • Packages and pricing change frequently

    Research MobileHelp

  • Best Monitoring

    ADT Health Medical Alerts

    Starting at
    $29.99/mo

    Our take

    ADT is a well-known and trusted name in security. Just like its home security offerings, ADT’s medical alert system provides great monitoring services. You can set up both landline and GPS cellular systems to protect you at home and on the go. The main downside is that the price is higher than many alternatives. You will also have to pay extra for options like fall detection.

    Pros

    • Well-established reputation for emergency monitoring
    • GPS location tracking

    Cons

    • Landline required for basic package
    • Limited range in basic packages
    • Fall detection costs more

    Research ADT Health

  • 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.

    Pros

    • 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

    Cons

    • 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

    Research Get Safe

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Medical Alert Equipment and Features

  • Base Unit  Image

    Base Unit

    These are also known as in-home medical alert systems. Most base units include a microphone and speaker to speak with professional monitors and emergency responders if there’s an incident. You’ll be able to call for help with the press of the system’s 24/7 help button. Most units require a landline or cellular connectivity to communicate with monitoring centers. Look for base units with a backup battery to keep your unit running in case there’s a power outage.

  • Fall Alert Pendant

    Wearable

    Wearables are the most popular. They’re designed to be comfortable and reliable if you’re on the go. Some are necklaces, bracelets and even smartwatches. Most include a one-press button to call for help easily. You’ll want to look for a wearable with long battery life to stay working when you’re at home or out. Most wearables are also watery for better safety precautions in the shower. As a bonus, look for a wearable with fall detection to automatically call for help if there’s a fall or slip.

  • On-the-Go Help Button Image

    On-the-Go Help Button

    Mobile buttons can fit in your pocket or purse for reliable help when you’re taking a short walk around the neighborhood or doing work outdoors. Just press the button and monitoring specialists can help. Keep in mind that some help buttons only work within a certain range from the base unit to call for help. Most on-the-go buttons also include GPS for monitoring specialists to know exactly where to send for help.

  • Mobile App  Image

    Mobile App

    Medical alert mobile app features vary depending on your provider and equipment. Some allow you to use the app to automatically connect to monitoring specialists for help. You may also list emergency contacts, medication reminders and prescription information for easier refills and referencing. Some medical alert apps are specifically designed for caregivers to get instant emergency alerts, check to see if your loved one’s device battery is low and check their location to know they’re safe and sound.

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

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

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?

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


Dashia Starr avatar

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.

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