Best Medical Alert Systems 2019

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Are you worried about falling or being alone during a medical emergency?

Medical alert systems remain one of the most widely recommended safety solutions by doctors and nurses for older adults who had a recent fall, stroke, heart attack or medical condition such as cancer, arthritis, CPOD or Parkinson’s. 

Whether you’re looking for protection in your home, on a walk or in the shower, the best medical alert systems still provide the quickest and simplest access to emergency help 24 hours a day, everyday, no matter where you are.

But buyer beware. There are a lot of medical alert companies around, many with less than stellar reputations. We spent a lot of time trying to separate the good from the bad.

To help us find the best medical alert systems we focused on a simple formula:

  • Excellent support & customer care
    • Patient and empathetic service for seniors and family members. Quick emergency response times. Highly trained staff for emergency medical situations.
  • Reliable technology that works as promised
      • Reliability is more important than the latest technology fad or the absolute lowest price. The goal is simple, the help button, GPS, fall detection and 2 way speakers should work flawlessly, in real life conditions.
  • Fair & transparent pricing
    • No hidden activation, shipping or equipment fees. No price increases soon after you sign your contract. No usage charges for pressing the help button too often.
  • No long term contracts
    • None of the top rated companies on our list lock you into long term contracts, and all offer cancellable contracts. Some companies even offer 30 day money-back trial periods. 

Medical GuardianLife AlertLifeFoneLifeStationADTMobileHelpPhilips LifelineBay Alarm Medical
Compare Medical Alert SystemsMedical Guardian Life AlertLifeFone Medical Alert ServicesLifeStation ADT Medical AlertsMobileHelpPhilips Lifeline Medical Alert SystemsBay Alarm Medical
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Call For Free Consultation (800) 889-4116 (800) 360-0329(844) 263-7216(855) 622-5040(800) 588-1934(800) 920-1745(855) 410-3191(855) 692-0104
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Starting Cost / Month$29.95$49.95$24.95$19.95$29.99$19.95$29.95$19.95
Range 1,300 ft 800 ft 1,300 ft1,000 ft300 ft 600 ft 600 ft 1,000 ft
Response Time25 sec 33 sec 48 sec43 sec 36 sec 45 sec 35 sec49 sec
Emergency Buttons21111111
Fall Detection$10/mo N/A $5/mo$7/moN/A $10/mo$15/mo $9.95/mo
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Whether you’re looking for the best technology, service, comfort, aesthetics, reputation, track record or pricing, we’re here to help you with our Annual List of The Best Medical Alert Systems for 2019.

Buyer’s Tip: To get the best pricing and offer, we highly recommend you call, instead of order your medical alert system online. For whatever reason, we found many medical alert companies give their best deals over the phone. Don’t be afraid to ask for free shipping, a free month, a free lock box or an extra pendent. Let them know you’ve shopped around, it often works and it definitely can’t hurt!

The Best Medical Alert Systems of 2019

Medical Guardian Logo Medical Guardian Rating: Excellent

Medical Guardian has been one of our top choices for years. They come with a great reputation for customer service, transparent contracts, professional monitoring center staff and excellent product. Feedback from our readers has been very positive as well. We like their focus on service to seniors and family members. They get it. Aside from service and a broad range of the latest product, our testing also revealed it had some of the fastest emergency response times.

Medical Guardian

Bottom Line:

    • Fastest average emergency response times (25 seconds)
    • Longest range in the industry for an in home system (1,300 feet)
    • Longest battery life in the industry for a mobile system (120 hours)
    • Most accurate fall detection
    • Excellent, senior friendly customer service, no long term contracts, free cancellation
    • Holiday Gift Guide promotion (Holiday19 promo code expires December 13, 2019)- 1 month free, free lock box, free extra button & free ground shipping on the annual plan.

Visit Site  (800) 889-4116


Bay Alarm Medical Logo Bay Alarm Medical Rating: Good

We can’t say enough about Bay Alarm Medical. We’ve talked with their senior management and we love their focus on customer service and making medical alert systems as affordable as possible without sacrificing quality or service. Their contracts are fully transparent, refundable in the first 30 days, and cancellable anytime thereafter, something many other medical alert companies have stopped doing. If you’re looking for a basic medical alert system, at a low $19.95 per month, Bay Alarm tested very well.

The only thing we didn’t love is that Bay Alarm Medical seems to have a few gotcha’s like charging for shipping, unless you subscribed for the more expensive plans.

Bay Alarm Medical

Bottom Line:

  • Great pricing on basic in-home landline system at $19.95 per month
  • Excellent customer service 
  • Broad range of product
  • Holiday Special (expires December 16, 2019): Free cancellation, 30 day money back guarantee

Visit Site (855) 692-0104 


Life Alert Logo Life Alert Rating: Poor

While Life Alert made themselves famous with the “I’ve fallen and can’t get up” commercials, we do not recommend them to our readers. Our review reveals that Life Alert fails on price, transparency and customer care. First their contracts are for 3 years. Want to return your system because you don’t wear it anymore, tough. There’s no opportunity to try before you buy. Second, they’re significantly more expensive at $49.95 per month with $96-$198 in up front fees (we got even more expensive quotes depending on who we were talking to). Lastly, over 200 complaints were lodged with the Better Business Bureau regarding Life Alert – unacceptable.

Life Alert

Bottom Line:

  • Too pricey, relative to the competition. High up-front costs.
  • 3 year contracts make it a non-starter for us
  • Too many complaints with the Better Business Bureau
  • Dependable equipment

Visit Site (800) 360-0329


Philips Lifeline LogoPhilips Lifeline Rating: Good

Philips Lifeline is one of the heavyweights in the industry. As one of the largest healthcare technology companies in the world, Philips has a lot of medical alert system partnerships with hospitals across the country. That said, they tend to be a little more expensive than most, at $29.95 per month plus up-front fees of $69.95. Some of their in-home equipment is a little dated as well, offering a range of only 600 feet from the base station. Its new GoSafe2 mobile system however, is really good. It has the emergency button, GPS, fall detection and two way voice communicator in one relatively small pendent that hangs around your neck.

Philips Lifeline

Bottom Line:

  • Excellent reputation
  • GoSafe2 Mobile is a great all in-one mobile device (2 way talk, GPS, fall detection)
  • Overall a little pricier than most, up-front costs (if no promotion)

Visit Site (855) 410-3191


LifeStation Logo LifeStation Rating: Very Good

Did you know that LifeStation is actually one of the largest monitoring centers for the entire medical alert system industry? In fact, many of the top medical alert companies actually use LifeStation’s monitoring centers! LifeStation knows emergency response better than most, because they actually deliver it, while most outsource it to them. LifeStation offers a range of in-home and mobile solutions and they recently dropped their pricing to $19.95 a month, with fully cancellable contracts. They also offer a neat new GPS locating device for family members called “Find My Loved One”, which allows you to see where your loved one is anytime.

LifeStation

Bottom Line:

  • Excellent emergency response center
  • “Find My Loved One” is good GPS tracker on Mobile device
  • Free cancellation, 30 day money back guarantee
  • End of Year Sale: $24.95 $19.95 promotion ends December 31, 2019

Visit Site (855) 622-5040


LifeFone Logo LifeFone Rating: Very Good

We really like the management team at LifeFone when we spoke to them. The company is one of the pioneers in the industry and they’ve been around since 1976. They’ve just come out with some new and exciting products as well. If you’re looking for more than just a medical alert system, LifeFone has some great services you may want to explore. Their Caregiver Tools include services like making daily check-in calls to your loved one, medication reminders and GPS location services. Of course you have to pay a little extra for the service. Their contracts are fully cancellable and it also comes with a 30 day money back guarantee, so you can try before you buy.

LifeFone Medical Alert Services

Bottom Line:

  • Excellent broad range of product solutions
  • Largest offering of caregiver solutions (check-in calls, medication reminders, etc…)
  • Transparent contract
  • Free cancellation, 30 day money back guarantee
  • End of Year Sale (Promo Code Holiday19 expires January 2nd, 2020): Free shipping, free month.

Visit Site (844) 263-7216


MobileHelp Logo MobileHelp Rating: Good

MobileHelp is actually one of the leading equipment manufacturers for the medical alert industry. In fact, many medical alert companies buy their equipment from MobileHelp. They only offer cellular based products, so if a cell signal is spotty in your area, you may want to look for a different provider (they use AT&T). They’ve really grown over the past few years rounding out their excellence in technology with improved customer service as well. Their pricing is average, and they offer a 30 day money back guarantee and fully cancellable contracts. That said, we find their pricing a little confusing.

MobileHelp

Bottom Line:

  • Good range of product
  • Of note, they do not have a landline based system
  • Cancellable contracts

Visit Site (800) 920-1745


ADT Logo ADT Medical Alert Rating: Average

Although ADT comes with a great reputation in the home security industry, we’re a little less enthusiastic about its medical alert system offering. To us, it seems like they’re in the industry because they want to cross sell to their existing home security customer base. Their equipment is dated, with their in home landline system only having a range of 300 feet. In addition, while many of the top providers have all in one mobile alert offerings, ADT requires you to carry 2 separate pieces of hardware for its mobile system, which is just not practical.

ADT Medical Alert

Bottom Line:

  • Well-established brand
  • At-home landline system equipment looks and feels dated
  • Do not like their mobile solution – older technology, requires carrying 2 devices

Visit Site (800) 588-1934


GreatCall Logo GreatCall Lively Rating: Good

GreatCall Lively Mobile currently unavailable due to product recall / issues. GreatCall only offers a mobile medical alert system. The biggest problem we have with GreatCall is the size of its medical alert device and the length of its battery charge. Readers have consistently said the device is too large and bulky, making it a nuisance to wear. While GreatCall advertises its battery should last for 24 hours, several readers have complained it only lasts for 8 hours, making midday charging a necessity. That said, GreatCall’s emergency response time was exceptional and it offers some cool extra’s like a nurse help line and a partnership with Lyft for taxi service.

GreatCall Lively Mobile

Bottom Line:

  • GreatCall Lively Mobile currently unavailable due to undisclosed product issues.
  • Greatcall offers excellent emergency response times
  • Good pricing for a mobile system, but up-front hardware cost
  • Don’t like the size of the GreatCall Lively Mobile, feels bulky, especially compared to the competition
  • Biggest complaint is short battery life of 8 hours in some tests, requiring daily charging

Visit Site (866) 829-4527


What The Experts Say About Medical Alert Systems

“When you experience a fall, medical issue or other emergency, every second counts. If you are alone, delayed medical care can jeopardize your recovery and your independence. A Personal Emergency Response System provides simple, fast access to help 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.” Mayo Clinic

“Think about wearing an alarm device that will bring help in case you fall or can’t get up.” Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)

“What if you fell while your family member was out doing errands? What if you fell and were simply unable to shout for help? If you have an alert system, you’ll save precious time and get treatment sooner.” Harvard Medical School

“A medical alert system – or fall monitor – can provide increased independence for our loved one and peace of mind for us as family caregivers.” AARP

Choose The Right Type of Medical Alert System

1. Do you need protection in and outside your home?

If you or your loved one, mostly stay at home or only leave home when accompanied by others, an in home medical alert system (traditional or cellular) is best for you, which is the least expensive of the medical alert technologies. However, if you’re active outside your home, and do things on your own, you may want to consider a mobile medical alert system.

A mobile medical alert will let you press the help button no matter where you are, speak to an operator through your pendent and help will be sent to your exact location via GPS. The biggest downside to a mobile system is you need to recharge it frequently (not great if you’re forgetful), it’s a little more expensive and you need to have good cellular service in your area.

2. Do you have a landline?

If you need an in home medical alert system and have a landline, a traditional in home medical alert system is probably the right choice for you. However, if you mostly stay in your home but do NOT have a landline, a cellular in home system is a perfect solution for you.

3. Do you need automatic fall detection?

If you’re worried about falling and not being able to press the alert button due to loss of consciousness, injury, a stroke, tremors or panic you should consider getting automatic fall detection. 

Automatic fall detection is one of the best additions to medical alert systems in recent years in our opinion. Some claim to detect up to 95% of falls, removing a lot of anxiety of what will happen if you can’t press your emergency button.

The biggest complaint regarding fall detection our readers have shared with us is that sometimes there are too many false alarms. You have to judge if the inconvenience of some false alarms is worth the extra protection. That said, if you’ve had a fall within the last year, we highly recommend it.

How To Choose The Right Medical Alert Company

1. What’s the average response time?

Response time is the amount of time it takes for the monitoring station to answer you once you’ve pressed the help button. In general, you should look for an average response time of less than 45 seconds. The best medical alert systems will have response times in the 20 second range.

2. How many emergency contacts can be notified?

One of the advantages medical alert systems have over 911, is that operators can dispatch ambulance services or contact family members depending on the situation. Verify how many emergency contacts and phone numbers you’re allowed to list and that it suits your situation.

3. What’s the reputation of the medical alert company?

There are a LOT of medical alert companies out there. You do not want to put you or a loved one’s life in the hands of an outfit that is just starting out, has a poor reputation or a bad track record. We believe our list above is a great starting point to find the best medical alert company. For more research, check a site like the Better Business Bureau (BBB) to review complaints.

4. Does the medical alert company have the proper certification?

All of our top ranked medical alert companies have third party certified monitoring centers that are either 5 Diamond certified by the Central Station Alarm Association (CSAA) or certified by Underwriters Laboratory (UL). Meeting either of those standards provides assurance staff will be able to handle your emergency call properly.

5. Who staffs the monitoring center? 

Is the monitoring center staffed by trained agents? Who are they certified by? Do they speak my language or the language of my loved one?

6. What is the total cost of the medical alert system?

What are the monthly costs? What are the up-front costs (activation, shipping, installation, equipment, etc…) Are there incentives if you pre-pay annually? Do you get your pre-paid money back if you cancel early? Are there any hidden fees?

7. Can I cancel the contract any time?

You want a contract that allows you to cancel at any time without a penalty. Moreover, you want a contract that returns the unused portion of you pre-payment, even if you cancel early. There are operators out there (like Life Alert) that have 3 year contracts, we recommend you stay away from any long term commitment. Make sure to ask if there are any cancellation penalties.

8. What happens if the medical alert system breaks?

If it stops working through no fault of your own who’s responsible for fixing it? If you drop and break it, is it covered under warranty? For how long?

9. Am I buying the hardware or leasing it?

Do I have to return the medical alert system when you end your contract? Do I get to keep it and give it to someone else? If you’re leasing it, make sure to keep it in good condition.

10. Check your mobile coverage if you go cellular.

If you get an in-home system with cellular coverage, or you get a mobile system, find out what provider the medical alert company is using (e.g. AT&T or Verizon) and see if you get good coverage in your area. Make sure there is no long term contract so if coverage ends up being poor in your house or area, you can return the medical alert system. A 30 day money back guarantee is even better.

Avoid Tricks and Traps

1. Avoid long term contracts

2. Avoid companies that don’t lock in their pricing for the term of your contract

3. Avoid hidden costs (shipping, activation, installation, cancellation, equipment, cellular data)

4. Avoid hidden penalties (broken equipment, replacement batteries, pressing emergency button too often)

 

 

 

 




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