Compare Best Medical Alert Systems of 2019

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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Starting Cost / Month$29.95$49.95$24.95$19.95$29.99$19.95$29.95$19.95
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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
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Fall Detection$10/mo N/A $5/mo$7/moN/A $10/mo$15/mo $9.95/mo
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In 2019, thousands of people will come to Seniorsafetyreviews.com looking for the best medical alert system on the market. Whether you're looking for the latest technology, the best prices or you want to learn what system is best for you, we're here to help you narrow down your selection with our Annual List of The Best Medical Alert Systems for 2019.

Our goal is to help you cut through the clutter. Not every medical alert company we reviewed got a favorable recommendation, but those that did, deserved it in our opinion.

We believe our top rated Medical Alert providers offer the best overall value to our readers.

Here are the criteria we used for companies to get rated as one of the best Medical Alert Systems on our list:

  • Excellent support & customer care
    • Polite and patient. Answers as many questions as it takes. Focused on seniors. Quick emergency response times. Highly trained staff for emergency situations.
  • Fair & transparent pricing
    • Our recommended company's do not have hidden activation, shipping or equipment fees. Most pricing is in the $20-$50 range per month, depending on whether it's an in-home system or all-in-one mobile system.
  • No long term contracts
    • None of the top rate companies on our list lock you into long term contracts. If a company has long term contracts, it's an automatic red flag. It makes no sense to lock into a 3 year contract, especially when there are excellent alternatives with no contracts!
  • Reliable technology that works as promised
    • Uses proven technology that works as advertised. When it comes to medical alerts, reliability is more important than the latest technology fad. The goal is simple, help should come when expected and needed. It's not complicated.

Three Important Tips Before You Buy

Check return policies. You want a system that's easy to return, so that if you no longer need it, don't like it or want a different technology, you can make that choice at your discretion. Never sign a long term contract. Many companies offer discounts if you pay for your system a year in advance, the good ones will return your money for the unused portion if you cancel before your year is up.

Call for a discount or a deal. We've tested it ourselves. Many companies are willing to do even better than the promotions they're advertising on their websites. But you have to call. Be assertive. Ask for better pricing, free equipment (pendent, lockbox, etc...). Let them know you've done your research and you're shopping around.

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 they're 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.

 

Compare Best Medical Alert Systems of 2019

Medical Guardian Logo Medical Guardian Review: Excellent

Medical Guardian has been one of our top choices for years. They come with a great reputation for customer service, transparent contracts 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 emergency response times
    • Longest range in the industry (1,300 feet)
    • Excellent, senior friendly customer service, transparent contracts
    • No long term contracts, free cancellation
    • Special Promo - call now get 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 Review: Very 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.

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
  • Free cancellation, 30 day money back guarantee

 

Visit Site (855) 692-0104 


Life Alert Logo Life Alert Review: 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
  • Equipment is actually pretty good

 

Visit Site (800) 360-0329


Philips Lifeline LogoPhilips Lifeline Review: 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. It's new GoSafe2 mobile system however, is really good. It has the emergency button, GPS, fall detection and two voice 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)
  • Nice promotion for Philips Lifeline currently at 1 free month, free shipping and free activation

 

Visit Site (855) 410-3191


LifeStation Logo LifeStation Review: 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. 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

 

Visit Site (855) 622-5040


LifeFone Logo LifeFone Review: 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

 

Visit Site (844) 263-7216


MobileHelp Logo MobileHelp Review: 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.

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 Review: 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
  • In-home landline system equipment looks and feels dated
  • Do not like their mobile solution - requires carrying 2 devices

 

Visit Site (800) 588-1934


 

GreatCall Logo GreatCall Lively Review: Good

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 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


3 Questions You Need To Answer

1. Do you need a home-based or mobile medical alert system?

If you mostly stay in your home, are typically with other people when you leave your home, have poor cellular reception in your home, or have difficulty remembering to recharge things, a traditional in home system is probably best.

A traditional in-home system allows you to press the help button on your pendent, and connects you to the monitoring station via a speaker on a separate base station that's connected to the monitoring station via your landline or a cellular connection.

If you're active outside your home or find yourself unaccompanied when outside your home, a mobile system may be the right solution for you.

The are three big advantages of a mobile system. The first, is that you can wear it in and outside your home, getting protection no matter where you go. The second, is that the microphone and speaker are embedded in the pendent, so you don't have to speak through a room into the base station. The third is that mobile systems come with GPS. When you press your help button, the monitoring center can dispatch emergency services or family members to within a few feet of your location. In addition, family members can also locate you using GPS in the event your lost or haven't checked-in.

The disadvantage of mobile medical alert systems is that they need to be recharged every day or few days (some of our poorly rated ones had to be recharged every 8 hours). The other downside is that it tends to be more expensive than a traditional in home system. You'll also want to make sure you have consistent cellular coverage in your home and area.

2. Do you need a monitored system?

A monitored medical alert system connects you to a monitoring station with trained agents, when your help button is pressed, or when a fall is detected. Depending on the nature of the situation, they will either call an ambulance, police, fire department, family member or a designated caregiver, or both. The agents will then stay on the phone with you until help arrives.

A non-monitored medical alert device, will call a pre-programmed number, either a family member or 911, when the emergency button is pressed. You typically only pay for the device, without a monthly fee.

The advantage of monitored medical alert systems is that they minimize falls alarms and unnecessary 911 calls. Also, we've found that some of our readers have said their parent was reluctant to press their non-monitored button, because they didn't want to disturb their children or the issue wasn't serious enough to call for an ambulance.

3. Should you get automatic fall detection?

Automatic fall detection has gotten a lot of publicity lately, especially with its inclusion in the latest Apple Watch 4. They're one of the best additions to medical alert systems in recent years in our opinion.

Here's how they work. When a fall is detected the system notifies the monitoring center, even if you’re unconscious or unable to move. The system then enables you to speak with an agent at the monitoring center. They talk with you, assess your situation, and send you the help you need. If the agent can't reach you, they'll dispatch emergency services and call family members.

Some claim to detect up to 95% of falls, removing a lot of anxiety of what will happen if you fall and you're alone, knocked unconscious or 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. The big fear there is that someone experiencing too many false alarms will stop wearing the medical alert system altogether. That said, if you've had a fall within the last year, we highly recommend it.

Should You Get a Medical Alert System?

Medical alert systems for seniors

Are You At Risk of Falling?

If you or a loved one answer yes to any of the following questions asked by the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), you're at risk of falling and you should consider getting a medical alert system:

  1. Have you fallen in the past year?
  2. Do you feel unsteady when standing or walking?
  3. Do you worry about falling?

Are You At Risk of Getting a Stroke, Seizure or Heart Attack?

Medical alert systems can be critical to getting you help in a situation where every second counts.

Heart Attack: According to the Journal of the American Heart Association, those who receive lifesaving attention within 1 hour of a heart attack are 3 times more likely to survive!

Stroke: According to the American Stroke Association "if you’re having a stroke, it’s critical that you get medical attention right away. Immediate treatment may minimize the long-term effects of a stroke and even prevent death."

Medical alert systems also ensure you get help even if you can't talk, or lack the dexterity to dial numbers on a phone pad.

3 Keys To Getting The Best Medical Alert System Equipment

  • Ease of Use: You want a system that is simple to install, easy to use and easy to maintain. In our view, a one button watch or pendent remains the safest option, especially in the panic and confusion of an emergency. One click and help is on the way.

  • Wearability: Having a help button that is comfortable and not too bulky is essential to wearability. When you compare medical alert systems, make sure you narrow it down to a company that offers both a watch and pendent.

  • Range: Range is the maximum distance the pendent can still work from the base station. Not everyone needs 1,300 feet (more than 3 football fields long), but having it can protect you when gardening, going to the mailbox or taking out the trash.

Emergency Response Service

  • Average response times: 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.

  • Multiple emergency contacts: 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.

  • Reputation / experience: 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 system company. For more research, check a site like the Better Business Bureau (BBB) to review complaints.

  • 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.

 

 

 

Related Post


  1. Hi Senior Safety Reviews,

    My father died recently and my mother lives alone. We can't always be with her and we're looking for a medical alert system. What are the most important features I should be looking for?

    Thanks in advance,

    Sandra


    • Hi Sandra,

      Thanks for writing in! In our opinion, the most important features you should be looking for depend on the needs of your mother. If she doesn't leave home much and has a landline, you could probably go with a basic in-home medical alert system. Even if she leaves the house often, if she's only leaves the home accompanied by someone else, there's no need for a mobile medical alert.

      In reality, most of the medical alert hardware is comparable. In fact, many companies use the same equipment. Where the companies begin to separate themselves are on price, terms and service. It goes without saying, we'd recommend you get the service that meets you mothers needs that has the best bang for your buck. However, we'd recommend getting a plan that gives you a free 30 day trial and allows you to cancel at any time with no penalties. Read the fine print or use our comparison chart to make sure your getting the deal you think you're getting.

      Hope that helps!

      SeniorSafetyReviews.com Staff


  2. Hello Senior Safety Reviews,

    The landline product displayed for Bay Alarm has a backup battery of 80 hours, not 32 hours. I hope this information is helpful.

    Best,

    Ryan


    • Hi Ryan,

      Thanks for the comment. We did a double to check, and Bay Alarm's website itself says "In the event of a blackout or power outage, our system will continue to run for up to 32 hours."

      Perhaps you're referring to the 72 hour charge of Medical Guardian's mobile alert system. Hope that helps!

      Best,

      Seniorsafetyreviews.com Staff


  3. I called Life Alert after seeing them on TV. They are sending a brochure to me. Would not give me pricing over the phone (which really annoyed me). Why do you have them rated so poorly.


    • Hi Peter,

      Thanks for writing in. Given Life Alert's wide presence on TV that's a great question!

      We have life alert with a poor rating because of its customer service and pricing. It has 3 year contracts which you cannot cancel. It has no 30 day money back trial period. Its pricing is nearly double that of its competitors for similar product (we called and received different quotes each time). Lastly, they have the highest number of complaints among medical alert companies at the Better Business Bureau.

      Hope the helps!

      Seniorsafetyreviews Staff


  4. Your review lists the need for mobile coverage yet that is not one of the criteria listed in your compare chart; why not?


    • Hi Doug,

      Thanks for that! Each of the companies listed above offers a mobile medical alert option. That said, our favorite mobile medical alert systems would be Medical Guardian or Phillips Life Line. Both offer all in one devices (mobile, fall detection, GPS), whereas many others require a separate fall detection device, and or a separate help button from the mobile device, making it inconvenient and bulky to wear outside the house.

      Hope that helps!

      SeniorSafetyReviews Staff