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The Best Medical Alert Systems - Make Sure Help Is Always Nearby

Scott Hirsch

Medical alert systems foster peace of mind for those at risk of sudden health issues. Bridging the gap between accident and assistance with the simple press of a button, they’re an ideal way to retain independence in the face of medical or mobility risks that could otherwise hinder your freedom. 

Medical alert systems were such an innovation when they first appeared that little attention was paid to their size or aesthetic. But advances in technology have led to sleeker, smarter systems. What were once bulky, grey devices have now become chip-thin pendants and featherweight wristbands that are indiscernible from watches and even jewelry. With the help of WiFi, smartphone apps, and fall detection features, the best elderly monitoring systems are lightyears beyond the simplistic gadgets of old.  

As we enter 2021, medical alert systems are all the more important with regular visits to elderly relatives less frequent in the face of the COVID-19 pandemic and social distancing.

Below are our top 10 picks for the best medical alert systems for seniors and the features that make each one stand out.

Seniors with mobility issues
Medication alerts
Those who enjoy the outdoors
Active seniors
Those prone to falls or accidents
Older adults who want to live independently
Home and garden use
Maintain independence and safety, medication reminders, voice-controlled
At home and on the go
Users who are uncomfortable with wearables
$29.95
$19.95
$18.29
$22.95 and up
$29.95
$39.99–$59.99
Starting at $69.99
$59.95-$69.95/month watch price: $99-$399
$24.95
$24.95
Yes
Yes
Yes
$22.95 and up
Yes
Yes
No
Yes, with AI learning for normal behaviours
Yes
Yes
No
30-day free trial
30-day free trial
30 days
30-day returns on pendants
No
None
None
30-day money-back guarantee
30-day trial period
US-based
US-based
US-based
N/A
US and Canada
New York
US
Wearable device
US-based
US-based
1,300 feet
600 feet
N/A
1,400 feet
N/A
Up to 200 feet
800 feet
N/A
1,300 feet
N/A

Our Top 10 Best Medical Alerts Systems

  • 1
    Medical Guardian

    Medical Guardian

    • Best forSeniors with mobility issues
    • Price$29.95
    • Connectivity Landline, AT&T 3G/4G cellular, and Verizon 4G

    Medical Guardian is a strong name in the medical alert device industry. It offers quality devices, fast response time, and competitive pricing, making it one of the best options for medical alert buttons and watches. For as low as $29.95 per month, you can have the peace of mind that someone is always watching out for you or your loved ones. Medical Guardian charges no setup, activation, early cancellation fees, offers a 10% AARP discount when signing up for the yearly plan, and frequently runs promotional sales that cut the price down even more.  Equipment fees may apply though depending on the product you purchase.

    The nationwide monitoring center boasts the fastest response time in the industry, and it’s 100% based in the US—so you won’t have any trouble with language barriers. 

    Medical Guardian devices include temperature monitoring, fall detection and great on-the-go mobile GPS options, making them a great choice for seniors wanting to live alone, independently. The equipment is state-of-the-art with a battery life of 3-5 years and a low battery indicator to ensure you are always protected. Plus, Classic Guardian has a 32-hour backup battery whereas Home Guardian has a 30-hour backup battery in case of power outages. All Medical Guardian buttons and watches are waterproof, so customers can wear them in the shower as well, and monitors can be used with cellular or landline phones.

    Another impressive aspect of Medical Guardian is the system tests that are run each month. The tests check that your system is in proper working order and connected to the monitoring center. It's recommended that you run these tests on your products monthly.

    Pros
    • You can run monthly tests to make sure your devices are working properly
    • US-based monitoring center
    • AARP discounts
    Cons
    • US based monitoring centers but no info on actual location
    • No free trial period
  • 2
    MobileHelp

    MobileHelp

    • Best forMedication alerts
    • Price$19.95
    • ConnectivityLandline, At&T cellular

    MobileHelp takes medical alert monitoring to a new level with the most advanced equipment and features available today. Users have access to 24/7 medical support, so they’re always just the press of a button away from help in case of an emergency. In-home systems have a range of 600 ft from the base station, but you can opt for a cellular model that goes with you wherever you go. There are no long-term contracts to be concerned about, and all MobileHelp plans are moderately priced.

    MobileHelp systems let you set up daily medication reminders, so the wearer never skips a medication because they forgot. With seniors and those with memory problems, this is one of the most important features and one that you won’t find with many other medical alert systems (even the top brands). You can also set up mobile connection alerts so that when your MobileHelp system is pressed, an email or text message notification is automatically sent out to a family member or caregiver. Another important feature is the vital signs monitoring. MobileHelp systems monitor signs like blood pressure, weight, blood oxygen saturation levels, and more.

    Pros
    • No long-term contracts
    • Mobile alerts via text and email
    • Medication alerts
    Cons
    • Shorter field range than others
    • Fall detection costs extra
  • 3
    Medical Alert

    Medical Alert

    • Best forThose who enjoy the outdoors
    • Price$18.29
    • ConnectivityLandline, AT&T cellular

    Medical Alert has alert systems for people who are at home or on the go, allowing them to move about freely without fear of getting stuck alone and without someone to help if needed. These smart technology devices are available in watch or pendant form, and they’re lightweight and designed for easy carrying.

    Medical Alert systems are affordable to anyone, starting at just $19.95 a month, plus a free month to start things off right. You'll also get free shipping for your button and a second button for free. There are no activation or equipment fees, and you don't have to commit to long contracts with Medical Alert.

    Buttons are all waterproof and equipped with GPS technology, so you can track the wearer’s location at all times. What’s even more comforting is the fall detection feature. While it’s helpful to know you can get assistance whenever you want with just the push of a button, what about all of those times when you can't even press your pendant? The fall detection feature alerts the help center when the wearer has fallen and can’t reach the button to press for help.

    Pros
    • Great for active users
    • Competitive pricing
    • No activation fees
    Cons
    • No field range info
    • Extra cost for fall detection
  • 4
    One Call Alert

    One Call Alert

    • Best forActive seniors
    • Price$22.95 and up

    With more than 20 years of experience in medical alert services, OneCallAlert has earned a solid reputation and more than 100,000 users. Less complex than others in the industry, its emergency response devices offer a simple, accessible, and reliable solution for those who can do without the bells and whistles. OneCallAlert offers a variety of options for use at home and on the go. Its pendants include fall detection technology and its at-home consoles are easy to use and feature 2-way voice calling and reliable monitoring services. The variety and dependability of these GPS devices, wearable pendants, and at-home base stations allows for safe mobility and independence with the insurance of quick responses in the event of the emergency.

    Pros
    • More than 2 decades in the industry
    • Mobile and at-home systems
    • 24/7, 365 monitoring services
    Cons
    • No smartphone apps
    • Mobile devices are a bit bulky
  • 5
    Lifeline

    Lifeline

    • Best forThose prone to falls or accidents
    • Price$29.95
    • ConnectivityLandline, cellular

    Philips Lifeline, a veteran in the medical alert industry, remains on the frontier of immediate response technology. Take for instance its fall-detection system, a trio of sensors that measures acceleration and barometric pressure and uses algorithmic predicting to decipher the nature and severity of a fall. 

    If this science sounds like, well, science to you, don’t worry. Philips’ devices incorporate them into easy-to-use features that require little comprehension on the part of the user. The fall detection system, for instance, immediately alerts the North-American-based response center, where a live agent will spring into action. Other features, such as GPS location technology and 2-way voice communications, are likewise designed to work naturally and intuitively when the user experiences an emergency. 

    Philips’ service is as reliable as its tech. Live agents are available 24/7 and respond in accordance with each users’ personal emergency plan.

    Pros
    • US- and Canada-based response centers
    • Personalized response plans
    • Triple-sensor fall-detection technology
    Cons
    • Pendants are bulky
    • Need Wi-Fi and smartphone
  • 6
    Aloe Care Health

    Aloe Care Health

    • Best forOlder adults who want to live independently
    • Price$39.99–$59.99

    Aloe Care Health provides a wonderfully advanced medical alert system, enabling seniors to continue living at home independently, secure in the knowledge that they have access to 24/7 emergency medical care as well as to their family and caregivers at the touch of a button or through voice activation.

    There are 2 package options to choose from, Essentials and Total Care, both of which offer practical solutions for collaborative care. For the family and caregivers there is a user-friendly app that keeps everyone up to date and even lets you chat to the senior via the Smart Hub. There are no long-term contracts to tie you down and you can cancel at any time.

    Pros
    • No long-term contracts
    • Care button that can be worn on wrist or as pendant round neck
    • 24/7/365 emergency care line
    Cons
    • One-off payment is expensive
    • If power goes down the system will not work
  • 7
    Life Alert

    Life Alert

    • Best forHome and garden use
    • PriceStarting at $69.99

    Founded in 1987, Life Alert was a pioneer in medical alert technology and awareness. Since then the company has continued to innovate and expand its response centers and technology in order to give those with mobility or medical issues a sense of independence, peace of mind, and immediate support in the event of an emergency.

    As you might expect from a veteran company, Life Alert has a solid infrastructure in place and a well-tested system of response. The company boasts more than 600 employees and US-based monitoring centers staffed by trained technicians who are on call 24/7 to respond to emergencies. Today the company offers multiple products: their signature medical button, which operates via landline or cellular service and has a field range of up to 800 feet, as well as a waterproof shower pendant and a mobile pendant with GPS that users can take with them on the go. 

    Pros
    • 24/7 support from trained individuals
    • Equipment is simple to understand and easy to use
    • More than 30 years in the medical alert field
    Cons
    • No fall detection
    • Equipment is a little bulky
  • 8
    UnaliWear
    • Best forMaintain independence and safety, medication reminders, voice-controlled
    • Price$59.95-$69.95/month watch price: $99-$399

    Unaliwear is a wearable medical alert device that lets you maintain your independence and dignity while ensuring your safety at all times. A sleek watchband, the Kanega watch allows you to stay fashionable and comes loaded with amazing safety features. The watch has fall detection built-in, along with GPS tracking, and (coming soon) guide-me-home assistance. The Unaliwear watch also has medication reminders, so you don’t forget to take your meds. 

    The Unaliwear watch is completely waterproof, so it can be worn in the shower or during sports. The battery system alerts you before it needs changing, so you never have to take it off to charge overnight. Best of all, the Unaliwear watch is voice-controlled and connected to emergency response teams at all times. So, if you ever need assistance, you can just call out, and help will be on the way. No complicated buttons, no base station to get to. Just call out, and get the help you need.

    Pros
    • AI-based tech
    • AI-based tech
    • Fall detection
    Cons
    • Only has watches available
    • Only works within the United States
  • 9
    LifeFone

    LifeFone

    • Best forAt home and on the go
    • Price$24.95
    • ConnectivityLandline, AT&T cellular

    Established in the mid 1970s, LifeFone has proven to be an enduring medical alert provider, and for good reason. With at-home and mobile options, US-based monitoring agents, and nice touches such as free spouse protection with basic service, the company combines experience and innovation into a service worthy of consideration for anyone in the market. 

    LifeFone’s at-home devices can connect to a landline or AT&T’s Nationwide Cellular Network. The field range tops out at 1,300 feet, which is more than sufficient for most homes, and is balanced out by high-output speakers with 2-way communication. Water-resistant pendants and wristbands are GPS-enabled and modern looking, while at-home counsels include temperature sensors and optional fall detection.

    Pros
    • Spouses protected for free
    • US-based monitoring center
    • Unlimited emergency contact notifications
    Cons
    • Fall detection costs extra
    • Complete Home System package requires 1-year commitment
  • 10
    GetSafe

    GetSafe

    • Best forUsers who are uncomfortable with wearables
    • Price$24.95
    • ConnectivityAT&T 4G LTE

    GetSafe wants to free you from wearables. One of its defining features is its voice-activated system that substitutes the human voice for pendants or wristbands. In addition to a traditional console with call button, GetSafe provides mini consoles that are activated by saying “Call 9-1-1” twice. You can mount the mini consoles on staircases, near showers, or anywhere else that a fall is likely to happen. They also have buttons and pull cords in addition to voice activation, which makes them incredibly versatile.

    GetSafe does, however, offer optional wearables for those who prefer them, as well as compact GPS buttons that work on 4G LTE networks and have up to 120 hours of battery life. Regardless of the equipment you opt for, the service includes 24/7 monitoring from US-based response agents and a 30-day trial to make sure it’s right for you.

    Pros
    • Voice-activated consoles
    • US-based response staff
    • 30-day free trial
    Cons
    • Internet connection required
    • Must have iPhone or Android
Frequently Asked Questions
What is the cheapest medical alert system?
-
+
GreatCall is one of the cheapest medical alert systems available at just $14.99 a month. MedicalAlert ($18.29/mo) and MobileHelp ($19.95/mo) are equally affordable and known as some of the best systems available.
How much is Life Alert a month?
-
+
Life Alert's prices vary based on a number of factors, though monthly costs will on average cost between $49.99 and $90 depending on what type of service you require.
How do I choose a medical alert system?
-
+
To choose a medical alert system, consider the needs of the person who will be using it. Pay attention to the number of emergency contacts it can include and whether or not it can be used outdoors. It's also a good idea to make sure it comes with reliable 24/7 support team.

What’s a Medical Alert System?

A medical alert system is a device set up in your home with or without a mobile component, which can call for assistance in the event of a health emergency. Typically, this is at the very least a base station for the home, which is plugged into the wall, and/or a pendant button worn around the neck or a wristwatch. 

During a medical emergency, the wearer of this device can press a button and summon emergency help. They can also be paired with a mobile device, which the user can carry with them, in order to have emergency coverage even when out of the house.

Medical alert systems typically are associated with seniors who have mobility and health problems, but they are also used by people far younger who have medical issues which may require unexpected, immediate assistance.

In-Home vs Mobile Devices

Just about every medical alert system has an in-home station so that the user can be covered when they’re at home, but the limited mobility this provides isn’t right for everyone. With a mobile device, you are covered even outside of the house, typically by way of a pendant or a wristwatch. 

The mobile devices are linked with a cellular company and use GPS and cellular technology to allow the user to travel freely and still be able to call for assistance if needed. These can make a huge difference in quality of life for people who otherwise would feel compelled to stay close to home so that they can be sure to call for assistance. 

How Do Medical Alert Systems Work?

The basics of the devices are the same whichever company you choose. Press the button on your medical alert necklace or on the medical alert system, and you will be on the line with a professional in under a minute. But similarities tend to end there. One good example is monitoring. Some companies simply have a 24/7 call center that can dispatch emergency services or call loved ones in the case of an emergency. Others have powerful automatic monitoring of fire/smoke or carbon monoxide.

Intruder alerts or the ability to speak to and get help from board certified doctors are niche features you might be interested in, too. If you have a large home, check that the range suits your needs. This can vary from 400 feet to 1,500 feet, with unlimited range across the United States for mobile solutions. This is especially helpful if you want to choose a medical alert system which allows you to pick up regular phone calls from the medical alert necklace or wristband itself.

While historically many medical alert devices relied on a landline to get up and running, this is no longer a necessity. Both cellular at home options, as well as completely wireless mobile medical alert devices are now popular.

What Should I Look for in a Medical Alert System?

With all of the options available, it can be difficult to find the right choice for you or your loved ones. The best medical alert system for one person may not be the best for another, which is why it’s important to consider the health, capabilities, lifestyle, and habits of the person it’s intended for. That way, you can make sure that the features of a particular device are best suited for the needs of your loved one. 

One universally important detail is support. No matter what your other needs are, you want to make sure that the medical alert system you choose has a reliable, on-the-spot call center. The best medical alert systems will have reputable monitoring services with short response times and 24/7 availability. Though not a necessity, a US-based call center is ideal and definitely a feature to look out for. 

From there, the features you’ll want to look for should align with the needs of the wearer. If the wearer is active and plans to spend time outside of the home, it’s best to consider a medical alert device with a long range and GPS tracking that can instantly and accurately inform response teams of their location. If the wearer is advanced in age or has mobility issues, fall detection technology is a critical component that will ensure your loved one receives help in the event that they’re unable to activate the alert themselves. 

Wearability is another factor. The best medical alert devices are lightweight and non-intrusive. Since everybody wants to look their best, you also want to consider the appearance of the device you’re considering. Today, medical alert devices are made to blend in with or even enhance one’s appearance. With sleek designs, sophisticated detail, and sharp features, many of the best medical alert devices can pass for jewelry or an accessory. 

How Much Should a Top Medical Alert Device Cost Me?

Medical alerts are an affordable option if you’re on a fixed budget—but make sure before you make your purchase that you’re not buying a system that includes any features you don’t need.

Prices for the top medical alert companies can be on a monthly, 3-month, annual, or semi-annual basis. Typically these can range in price from as little as around $20 per month to as much as $80 depending on what your plan includes. You should also read the fine print to see if the package also includes shipping or any initial installation fees. 

The main considerations that can affect price include whether or not you want just a stable, home device, or one that also has mobile coverage and includes alert devices you can take with you. Other extras such as a fall detector, medical reminders, and the like, can also increase the price. 

Whatever you pay, you’ll want to ensure first that the company guarantees 24/7 emergency assistance and that you will receive coverage in your location.

How We Chose The Best Medical Alert Systems

We took many factors into consideration when choosing our top 10 best medical alert systems. Some of the questions we asked when considering which services were the best include:

  • How easy is the device to use?
  • How affordable is the service?
  • How reliable is the support team?
  • Does it include fall detection?
  • Is the device comfortable and wearable?
  • What is the field range of the device?
  • What other technologies make this better than others on the market?

In addition to the above questions, we tried to focus on medical alert systems that were best suited to a wide variety of users. These include homebound users, active seniors, those with severe health and mobility issues, and those with different sized support systems. Lastly, we made sure to choose companies that are well-reputed and boast the experience, technology, infrastructure, and professionalism necessary to provide prompt, professional, reliable care.  

Natural Intelligence does not provide medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. If you think you may have a medical emergency, call your doctor or your local emergency number immediately.

Scott Hirsch
Scott currently writes full-time for top10.com and has worked as a writer, editor, and researcher for top tech companies, including Groupon. Over the last decade he has covered stories in emerging tech, consumer trends, medical and wellness technology, media, science, and culture.