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Top 10 Best Medical Alert Systems for 2023 - Stay Safe and Independent at Home

Juliette Siegfried, MPH
Best Medical Alert Systems & Companies

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. 

What were once bulky, grey devices have now become chip-thin pendants and featherweight wristbands that are indiscernible from watches and even jewelry - with plenty of features to help when help is most needed.

Not sure which medical alert to pick? We've put them to the test to find out what makes each stand out. 

Here are our Top 10 picks for the best medical alert systems for the elderly or anyone who may need extra help.

Our Best Medical Alert Systems & Companies in 2023:

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Our Top 10 Best Medical Alerts Systems

  • 1
    Medical Guardian

    Medical Guardian

    • Best forGPS-enabled devices
    • Price$29.95-$39.95 per month
    • ConnectivityCellular, landline, WiFi

    Medical Guardian offers medical alert systems for use at home and on the go. The company’s devices can connect to cellular networks, WiFi, or a landline, making them flexible for a wide range of users. On-the-go systems are equipped with GPS tracking and offer up to five days of battery life.

    There are no upfront costs or activation fees when you purchase a medical alert system from Medical Guardian. The company’s 24/7 monitoring center is certified as a Five Diamond Monitoring Center and provides support even during non-emergency situations. Medical Guardian also offers speedy support by phone, email, and live chat. 

    Pros
    • Home and mobile medical alert devices
    • Offers automatic fall detection bracelets
    • GPS tracking for on-the-go systems
    Cons
    • Mobile app is not user-friendly
    • Many services require add-on purchases
  • 2
    ADT Health

    ADT Health

    • Best forCompetitive prices
    • PriceFrom $29.99 per month

    ADT offers competitively-priced medical alert monitoring systems for at-home or on-the-go use. With one press of the help button you are connected to senior-sensitive trained experts who can assess your situation, call emergency services and get in touch with your family if necessary. With 6 monitoring centers across North America answering over 19 million alarm signals annually, ADT is one of the industry’s most trustworthy companies. 

    Users can expect a fast and smart response from either the base unit or a pendant. Pressing the help button will immediately alert a senior-sensitive trained expert in-house at ADT to help you directly. If you are on the phone, your call will be bypassed so you never have to wait for assistance. The expert can then assess your situation, contact and dispatch emergency services to your home or mobile location and even keep your family up to date with the situation as needed. 

    Pros
    • Home and mobile medical alert devices
    • Offers automatic fall detection bracelets
    • GPS tracking for on-the-go systems
    Cons
    • Mobile app is not user-friendly
    • Many services require add-on purchases
    • No fire/smoke monitoring
  • 3
    MobileHelp

    MobileHelp

    • Best forThose looking for a system with advanced features
    • Price$19.95-$54.95 per month
    • ConnectivityCellular, landline

    MobileHelp offers a wide range of high-quality systems for home and on-the-go use. You get quick access to 24/7 monitoring and medical support by pressing a button on your base station or remote device. Prices are competitive, with no required long-term contracts. All but one of MobileHelp’s systems are cellular, so you don’t need a landline. You can even add a second user for free.

    Fall detection is available for only $10 per month. You can also set up medication reminders and alerts for emails or text messages to get automatically sent to a family member or caregiver when you press the help button. You can even opt for MobileVitals coverage so the system can monitor your blood pressure, blood oxygen saturation levels, and more. All in all, MobileHelp is an excellent choice if you are looking for quality and good value for your money. 

    Pros
    • No long-term contracts, plus discounts for longer subscriptions
    • Plans can cover two people for the price of one
    • Free lockbox ($29 value) to allow access in an emergency
    Cons
    • Fall detection costs $10 per month
    • Lost or damaged equipment may incur a fee
  • 4
    One Call Alert

    One Call Alert

    • Best forPortable medical alert plans for two users
    • Price $19.95-$44.95
    • ConnectivityLandline or mobile network

    One Call Alert offers a range of at-home and portable medical alert systems ideal if you’re on a budget or prioritize easy setup. Devices work pretty much out of the box, with no extra fees for installation or equipment use. One Call’s best deal is the Mobile Double plan, which offers two portable medical alert systems with built-in GPS trackers for under $40/month.

    The only downside we found with One Call is the lack of professional certifications, such as UL safety and TMA five diamond, which are common throughout the industry. That said, One Call Alert reviews show it is popular with customers, with 4.6/5 stars from over 700 customer ratings on BestCompany.com.

    Pros
    • Affordable for two people
    • Easy to install
    • No equipment fees
    Cons
    • Missing common certifications
    • Damaged or lost equipment can be costly
  • 5
    Life Alert

    Life Alert

    • Best forSeniors who want reliable service while at home and away
    • Price$49.95-$89.95 per month plus activation fees
    • ConnectivityLandline, Cellular

    Founded in 1987, Life Alert was one of the first providers of medical alert systems. Its “I’ve fallen and I can’t get up” TV ads quickly became famous and established the company as an industry leader. Life Alert provides systems for use at home and on the go, and its Five Diamond-certified monitoring services are considered excellent. 

    That said, Life Alert’s prices and startup fees are higher than its competitors’. Also,  drawbacks such as long, strictly-enforced contracts and a lack of automatic fall detection may make other systems a better choice. 

    Pros
    • Simple, easy-to-use, one-button devices
    • 24/7 communication with well-trained monitoring services
    • Mobile batteries last up to 10 years, never need charging
    Cons
    • Higher prices and activation fees than competitors’
    • 3-year contract required, with no trial period
    • No fall detection available
  • 6
    UnaliWear

    UnaliWear

    • Best forThose who want a modern, unobtrusive medical alert device
    • Price$59.95 per month
    • ConnectivityWiFi, cellular

    UnaliWear makes a single medical alert device, the Kanega Watch. This smartwatch-like device connects to a 24/7 monitoring center via cellular and WiFi networks, and includes a GPS so emergency responders can find your location. It also includes automatic fall detection.

    The Kanega Watch is somewhat expensive compared to other medical alert devices, and lacks a mobile app or other features you’d expect from a true smartwatch. However, it offers a sleek and modern look that isn’t as noticeable as most other on-the-go medical alert devices.

    Pros
    • Integrated fall detection
    • Rechargeable battery is easily swapped
    • Stylish and unobtrusive
    Cons
    • Expensive monthly subscription
    • Doesn’t connect to your smartphone
  • 7
    LifeFone

    LifeFone

    • Best for Seniors who appreciate quality and value
    • Price$29.95-$41.95/month
    • ConnectivityLandline/Cellular

    LifeFone is a long-running company with a solid set of at-home and on-the-go medical monitoring devices. With no upfront fees and solutions that fit any budget, it’s a good choice for anyone looking for a medical alert service.

    The monthly price does get less competitive when you consider the mobile caregiver app is only available on the most expensive plan and is an additional optional cost. However, the sleek on-the-go pendants are lightweight and have a long battery life, making them the preferred choice of many seniors.

    Pros
    • Modern on-the-go devices
    • No up-front fees
    • Long-range for at-home devices
    Cons
    • No smartwatch options
    • Mobile app only available on highest-tier plan
  • 8
    Lively

    Lively

    • Best forActive older adults looking for a mobile alert system
    • Price$19.99-$34.99/month
    • ConnectivityBluetooth

    Lively offers highly praised 24/7 monitoring services on a wide array of devices, including its own wearable Mobile+ pendant, plus Alexa devices, the Apple Smart Watch, and on smartphones. All its products have been specifically designed for ease of use, with seniors in mind. Its convenient, no-contract monthly pricing allows you to choose your preferred level of monitoring and services. No matter which device you choose, Lively provides an excellent medical alert system for seniors who are active and like to spend time outside the home.

    Pros
    • Various mobile medical alert systems to choose from
    • 24/7 US-based monitoring services
    • Many health & safety packages, customizable to suit your needs
    Cons
    • No landline options
    • Some services not offered on all devices
Breaking Down our Top10 Choices: Which is Best For Your Needs:
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Medical Guardian-Best for reputation
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MobileHelp-Best for ease of use
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One Call Alert-Best reliability
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Life Alert-Seniors who want to live independently
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UnaliWear-Those with medical conditions
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LifeFone-Best for multiplier users
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Lively-Active older adults looking for a mobile alert system
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Lifeline-Best for fall-risks
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Medical Alert-Best for outdoors use
Compare the Top Medical Alerts Systems
1
Medical Guardian
2
MobileHelp
3
One Call Alert
4
Life Alert
5
UnaliWear
6
LifeFone
7
Lively
8
Lifeline
9
Medical Alert
Reviews156 reviews113 reviews14 reviews41 reviews15 reviews30 reviews5 reviewsWrite ReviewWrite Review
Best for
GPS-enabled devices
Those looking for a system with advanced features
Portable medical alert plans for two users
Seniors who want reliable service while at home and away
Those who want a modern, unobtrusive medical alert device
Seniors who appreciate quality and value
Active older adults looking for a mobile alert system
Those prone to falls or accidents
Those who enjoy the outdoors
Monthly price
$29.95-$39.95 per month
$19.95-$54.95 per month
$19.95-$44.95
$49.95-$89.95 per month plus activation fees
$59.95 per month
$29.95-$41.95/month
$19.99-$34.99/month
$19.95-$58.95
$19.95 - $42.95 per month
Fall detection
$22.95 and up
Yes, with AI learning for normal behaviours
Optional
Yes, on some devices
Trial period
30-day free trial
30 days
None
None
30-day money-back guarantee
30 days
30-day returns on pendants
30-day free trial
Monitoring center location
US-based
US-based
N/A
US
Wearable device
US-based
USA
US and Canada
US-based
Field range
1,300 feet
1400 feet (Classic), 600 feet (Wired Home)
1,400 feet
800 feet
N/A
1,300 to 1,400 feet for at-home stations
Not applicable—all systems run on mobile network
N/A
N/A
Frequently Asked Questions
What is the cheapest medical alert system?
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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?
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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.

Emergency Medical Alert Systems with Fall Detection

Falls are one of the leading causes of injury for people 65 and older. According to the CDC, one in four older adults suffers from a fall every year. One out of five of those falls causes serious injuries such as broken bones or head trauma.

Because of this, automatic fall detection is an important feature offered by medical alert systems. Many of the medical alert companies in our review offer this feature with their wearable devices, either built-in or as an optional add-on.  

Automatic fall detection utilizes advanced motion-sensing technology embedded in the wearable device to detect when your or your loved one has fallen. If this technology detects a fall, followed by no movement, it will notify the company’s monitoring center. The operators then attempt to contact you. 

If you are unable to respond or press the Help Button yourself, they can call emergency services for you and stay on the line until help arrives. This feature can be a literal lifesaver.

Wearable Medical Alert Devices

While home medical alert systems often require you to go to a centrally located base station to request help, mobile medical alert systems are defined by the fact that they are as active as you are. They work when you’re in the garden, out shopping, or even on vacation. 

Wearable medical alert devices connect to your home system’s base unit or use cellular service to connect directly to the provider’s monitoring center. They are designed to be light and unobtrusive and come in a variety of forms. They can be worn around the neck like a pendant or necklace, on your wrist like a watch, or clipped to a belt or purse. Some providers even offer “designer” wearable devices in the form of fashionable jewelry.

Most of these devices are water resistant, so you can wear them in the shower. Some are built into smartwatches that can also be used to access other health- and safety-related applications. Whatever their shape or size, these wearable devices can offer you greater peace of mind, because you know that you’re always able to summon help no matter where you are. 

Medical Alert Systems for Seniors

It’s not just the danger of falls that makes medical alert devices a good idea for seniors. On a practical level, if you or your loved ones are over 65, having an emergency button within easy reach when home alone—or, even better, having a wearable device on your wrist or around your neck no matter where you are—offers a very real improvement in personal safety. 

In addition, sometimes it is important just to be able to talk to someone in non-emergency situations, like being locked out of the house or finding yourself lost and unable to find the way home. That’s why many systems include the ability to easily call their monitoring center simply for assistance, regardless of whether the situation is an actual emergency.

Knowing that help is only a button push or a voice command away offers you and your loved ones valuable peace of mind. Medical alert systems can help your loved ones to stop worrying and actually enjoy their golden years, because they will know that in an emergency, there will be a friendly, well-trained voice on the other end of the line to help. Typically the monitoring teams will even already have your loved one’s medical history in front of them.

Medical Alert System Features

Here are some important features that you should be considering if you’re choosing a home medical alert system. 

Monitoring Services

One of the most important things to consider is the quality of a medical alert system’s monitoring services. Are the company’s operators available to you 24/7/365? How are their operators trained, and are they certified by industry-standard organizations such as the SIA (Security Industry Authority) or the CSA Group? Can your loved on call them for help with everyday situations such as being locked out of the house, or only in emergency situations? Can you actually talk with the operators after pressing the help button, or do they just call 911 for you?

Multilingual Support 

Many monitoring centers employ operators who are fluent in the most commonly spoken languages and have access to translation services for those languages they don’t speak. Check to make sure your emergency help comes in the language you or your loved ones speak most easily.

You may want to check where the company’s monitoring centers are located. Are they in the USA, or in another country, where you might have to worry whether the operators speak the language you’re most comfortable with? 

Landline or Cellular Connection

For home-based systems, base units are commonly connected to the monitoring center by either plugging into your regular phone landline or using mobile cellular service. For systems that include wearable devices, check which cellular service they’ll use to connect in an emergency.  

Many companies utilize only one cell network provider for their devices, so check to make sure that the areas where you live and/or commonly travel to are covered by that cell network provider. 

GPS Location Tracking

An important feature to look for in a wearable device is support for GPS (global positioning system) tracking. In an emergency, this feature allows the monitoring center operators to know exactly where you or your loved one is so they can direct emergency services or caregivers to their exact location as quickly as possible. 

Activity Tracking

On top of emergency services, some wearable devices—especially smartwatches—can help you stay healthy by tracking your daily activity levels. They can track and record things like the number of steps you take a day, your heart rate or blood oxygen levels, and even the quality of your sleep. 

These metrics can help you maintain your own exercise program and can also be a comfort to caregivers, who can monitor their loved ones’ activity levels or be notified if they are inactive for a longer-than-normal period. 

Additional Help Buttons Around the Home

One of the most popular options for home-based medical alert systems is additional Help Buttons that can be mounted on the wall or placed in easily-reachable locations in areas where accidents often occur, such as bathrooms or staircases. If you slip on the stairs or need to call for help while in the shower, these extra buttons will be within reach. 

Water Resistance

The wearable devices that come with medical alert systems may be as simple as a help button or as complex as a smartwatch, but one thing is certain—they only work if you’re wearing them. So you should check to make sure they are water-resistant and you can continue to wear them while taking a shower or a bath. 

Two-Way Communication

Most medical alert systems allow you to speak with the operators in the company’s monitoring center so that they can stay in contact with you until help arrives or the situation is resolved. However, not all systems include two-way communication, so be sure to check.  


Some medical alert companies also allow you or your loved ones to speak with caregivers directly through your wearable device. Typically these systems assign a phone number to the device so that caregivers can reach loved ones just by dialing the number using their own phone. 

Medication Reminders and/or Dispensers

Older adults often have difficulties remembering to take their prescribed medications or remembering to take them on the proper schedule. So some medical alert companies offer the ability to set up an audible and visual alert when it’s time to take your medications. Some companies even offer automatic medication dispensers that can be preset to provide the correct dosage at the correct time.

Caregiver Web Portal or Mobile App

Many medical alert companies offer a mobile app or a web portal where caregivers can keep in touch with you or your loved one via their own smartphones or computers. These services allow you to receive information about how often your loved ones have called for help, their activity and location data, and more. These portals help you to take an active part in your loved ones’ well-being and work with them to ensure their health and safety. 

Insurance Coverage of Medical Alert Systems

One question that many prospective users of medical alert systems ask is, “Will my health insurance pay for a medical alert device?” Unfortunately, the majority of private health insurance providers do not cover the cost of medical alert devices. The same is true of Medicare. 

But some insurance providers do cover such devices. Also, some beneficiaries of Medicaid can qualify for assistance under the Money Follows the Person program, which covers the cost of medically necessary devices. This program is designed to help seniors transition from nursing home facilities back into living in their own homes, so check with your provider to see if you qualify. 

Medical Alert System Contracts - Warranties and Policies

One of the most important things to check when considering medical alert products and services is whether the provider requires a contract. Some simply require month-to-month plans that you can cancel at any time. However, many companies do require long-term contracts, and the cancellation charges to exit from such contracts can be considerable. 


Similarly, wearable devices can occasionally break, so you should check whether the company and system you are interested in offers a warranty on their devices. Will they replace lost or damaged equipment, or will you have to pay equipment fees for a replacement? Many companies enable you to take out insurance on their devices to cover such eventualities. 

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.

Juliette Siegfried, MPH
A biomedical writer, editor, and translator with over 30 years of experience. After working as a health communications specialist for the National Institutes of Health in Bethesda, Maryland, and its contractors, Juliette established ServingMed.com, a medical communications business for hospitals, universities, research foundations, and individual health care professionals. Juliette currently manages a small team of writers, editors and translators and serves an expanding medical clientele.