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Top 10 Best Medical Alert Systems for 2024 - Stay Safe and Independent at Home

Allison DeMajistre
Best Medical Alert Systems & Companies

Data released by the CDC indicates that millions of people aged 65 and older fall each year, of which 800,000 are hospitalized due to injuries. What's more, falling once makes you twice as likely to fall again, according to the same fact sheet. 

Your independence is precious. You shouldn't have to give it up just because you're growing older. All you need is a reliable way to get help quickly and easily when you need it.

A medical alert system gives you access to unlimited support wherever and whenever—if you have a fall at home alone or experience an emergency while running errands. But with so many different systems on the market, how do you know which one is right for you and your lifestyle? We've tested and compared the best medical alert systems to help you stay safe and independent at home—and give you more time to spend with loved ones.

Our Top 10 Best Medical Alert Systems for 2023:

  • Medical Guardian - Best medical alert system overall
  • ADT Health - Best for fixed monthly pricing
  • MobileHelp - Best for tele-healthcare features
  • One Call Alert - Best for households using the same system
  • Life Alert - Best for access to an on-site dispatch center
  • UnaliWear - Best smartwatch for fall detection
  • LifeFone - Best for daily check-in call subscriptions
  • Lively - Best for a wide range of senior-friendly devices
  • Medical Alert - Best for easy-to-use systems
  • Lifeline - Best for accurate fall detection
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Our Methodology: How We Reviewed the Best Medical Alert Systems

To compare the top medical alert systems, we prioritized the most reputable, established life alert companies. These providers are renowned for their experience, technology, and ability to offer prompt, reliable care from well-trained staff members. We also used seven questions to rate each of the 10 medical alert system companies, which were: 

  1. How easy is the device to use?
  2. How affordable is the service?
  3. How reliable is the support team?
  4. Does the system include fall detection?
  5. Is the device comfortable and wearable?
  6. What is the field range of the device?
  7. What technologies make it better than others on the market?

The top 10 best medical alert systems

  • 1
    Medical Guardian

    Medical Guardian

    • Best forExceptional customer service
    • Price$29.95-$44.95
    • ConnectivityCellular, landline, WiFi, GPS

    Medical Guardian has been in business for 16 years and boasts over 300,000 users. Their medical alert systems deliver 24/7 at-home and on-the-go monitoring, while their versatile devices can connect to landlines, WiFi, and cellular networks.

    Chris McDermott, an advanced practice registered nurse and certified life care planner at Intercoastal Consulting & Life Care Planning (ICLCP), states that the company's connectivity options give consumers "the best of both worlds, as some other devices [are] limited to a landline or cellular service." He adds, "[this] service also uses Verizon for its cellular network, which can be helpful if one travels somewhere with limited connectivity and has an emergency."

    Medical Guardian provides monthly, quarterly, or annual subscription options, and offer add-on services, such as fall detection, at an extra cost. Long-term contracts are not required, and the initial subscription fee includes the price of the equipment.

    Why we chose Medical Guardian: Medical Guardian offers features like automatic emergency response, fall detection, and an extended signal range of up to 1,400 feet. In addition, their certified Diamond Monitoring Center is available around the clock and notifies your designated contact in emergency and non-emergency situations—no matter which subscription you choose. 

    Our experience: We felt that Medical Guardian's product quiz effectively determined which device best suits our needs. After answering three questions, the site recommended we try MGMini Lite, a device perfect for active seniors. However, we didn't like that they asked for our contact details before sharing this recommendation.

    Pros
    • No contracts or hidden fees
    • Offers automatic emergency response in case of a fall
    • Long-lasting battery life—up to 168 hours
    Cons
    • No free trials
    • Some services require add-on purchases
  • 2
    ADT Health

    ADT Health

    • Best forHome temperature monitoring
    • Price$29.99-$39.99
    • ConnectivityCellular, landline, WiFi, GPS

    ADT Health has access to several US-based control centers and protects around six million users. They offer three service tiers, each with flexible payment options and a permanent price lock guarantee. ADT also provides access to additional services, including home temperature monitoring and around-the-clock support. 

    Their monitoring specialists are trained to assist seniors in various emergencies, including health-related concerns. These experts assess your situation, contact and dispatch emergency personnel to your home, and keep your family members updated as needed.

    Helen Anderson, a nurse care manager at Hello Care in Portland, OR, tells the story of how ADT's temperature detection feature once alerted them that a senior's home was too hot over the summer. They were able to enter the house, where they found that the AC unit's breaker had popped out. She adds, "the risks for older adults living alone are unpredictable, so a system that detects falls and temperature extremes covers more possibilities."

    Why we chose ADT Health: This service offers a waterproof wall-mount button free of charge for additional protection in the shower. ADT also includes two-way talk in every package to ensure clients can reach support whenever needed.

    Our experience: We liked that ADT Health shipped and activated the medical alarm system at no extra cost. We also appreciated that their site clearly explains who each service tier is for - for example, stating that the Medical Alert Basic system is fit for people who mainly stay home and have a landline.

    Pros
    • Monthly costs are guaranteed not to increase
    • Free shipping, activation, and equipment
    • Offers a six-month money-back guarantee
    Cons
    • Home base units have a limited range
    • No daily check-in service
  • 3
    MobileHelp

    MobileHelp

    • Best forQuick response times
    • Price$24.95-$64.95
    • ConnectivityCellular, landline, WiFi, GPS, Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE)

    With MobileHelp, you can choose between an in-home or on-the-go system, or a bundled package that combines the two. These medical alert systems suit seniors who spend most of their time at home and active older adults who enjoy being out and about. 

    MobileHelp's devices have several valuable add-on services, such as MD Live and Mobile Vitals, which help seniors take charge of their health and maintain their independence. MDLive, for example, provides telehealthcare services that let you connect with a board-certified doctor through video calls.

    John Buchanan, a registered nurse and former EMT at Saint Francis Hospital, remembers responding to an older woman who had fallen and hit her head. She lived alone with a MobileHelp system and only spoke Spanish. Fortunately, the monitoring representative on the base unit was able to interpret. He alerted John's team that the patient had been taking blood thinners, so they took her to the hospital as a precaution. Tests later showed she had internal bleeding. John says, "without an interpreter, we might not have known her history or what medications she was taking."

    Why we chose MobileHelp: This provider allows you to try their service for 30 days. When you join, they don't ask you to sign a contract or pay equipment fees (for six of the eight products offered).

    Our experience: We like that MobileHelp offers a wide array of add-on services. We also appreciated their quick response times—from 1-15 seconds on average — indicating speedy and attentive service.

    Pros
    • Quick response times (1-15 seconds on average)
    • Free 30-day trial period
    • Access to telehealthcare features
    Cons
    • Charges processing fees for some systems
    • Lost or damaged equipment may incur a fee
  • 4
    One Call Alert

    One Call Alert

    • Best forBudget-friendly options for two users
    • Price$19.95-$44.95
    • ConnectivityCellular, landline, GPS

    One Call Alert showcases a range of at-home and portable devices that are budget-friendly and easy to set up. The service's Mobile Double plan gives users a good deal by bundling two on-the-go devices for the price of one ($44.95/month). 

    Their mobile devices are water-resistant and have built-in GPS tracking and two-way communication. Add-on services are available for an extra fee, including medication reminders, fall detection, and protection if the equipment is lost or damaged. There are no long-term contracts, upfront activation costs, or equipment fees. Some plans offer free shipping and a complimentary lockbox.

    Why we chose One Call Alert: One Call Alert's home base units have a backup battery that lasts up to 32 hours in case of power outages. Their emergency response centers are also available 24/7 from multiple locations within the US. 

    Our experience: Setting up our One Call Alert device was effortless—it worked right out of the box. We liked that the service allowed us to test our device without additional fees. 

    Pros
    • Competitive starting price
    • Ideal for two people using the same system
    • Devices are easy to set up
    Cons
    • No guarantee that rates won't increase
    • No warranty
  • 5
    Life Alert

    Life Alert

    • Best forHelp buttons with long-lasting batteries
    • Price$49.95-$89.95/month
    • ConnectivityCellular, landline, GPS

    Life Alert is known for its famous TV ad "Help! I've fallen and I can't get up!" They've been offering at-home and remote monitoring since the 1980s.

    Their customer service matches you with a care counselor who walks you through the installation process. The care counselor also guides you on how to use the system and make it work best for your needs.

    There is only one package to choose from (without any add-ons), which includes an in-home base station with a pendant button, an on-the-go HELP button, and a waterproof shower button. This service offers a price lock guarantee, free shipping, and a lifetime warranty, but you need to sign a three-year contract and pay a $200 activation fee to access their systems.

    Why we chose Life Alert: Life Alert delivers reliable service and fast response times via their on-site dispatch center. Their mobile devices provide GPS tracking throughout the US, and their batteries don't require charging—you need to replace them just once every 10 years.

    Our experience: We found Life Alert's wearable devices to be lightweight and comfortable. We also liked that security dispatchers could listen for intruders via the base station's audio monitoring speakers.

    Pros
    • Devices are covered by a lifetime warranty
    • Mobile button has an industry-leading 10-year battery life
    • Sensitive speakers with audio monitoring capabilities
    Cons
    • Activation fees and a three-year contract required
    • No automatic fall detection feature
  • 6
    UnaliWear

    UnaliWear

    • Best forTech-savvy, active seniors
    • Price$69.95
    • Connectivity Cellular, WiFi, GPS

    UnaliWear's Kanega Watch is a smartwatch-like device that connects via cellular and WiFi networks. It offers 24/7 monitoring, fall detection, GPS tracking, and medication reminders. This watch is more expensive than other devices, but it's quick and easy to set up.

    UnaliWear's emergency response center is Five Diamond certified, and operators are available around the clock. They have access to customers' medical information, which you provide when setting up the device, so they know exactly what kind of help to send.

    Why we chose UnaliWear: The Kanega Watch is waterproof and has four rechargeable batteries that can be easily swapped out. This means you never have to take it off —even when showering. You can activate it with a button or voice command, and it has integrated fall detection. The GPS tracking features make it easy for emergency responders to determine your location when you call for help.

    Our experience: We like that the Kanega Watch is stylishly discreet. We also like that you can choose between three accent colors: champagne gold, black, and rose gold.

    Pros
    • Customer service onboarding
    • Integrated fall detection
    • Pinpoint location detection
    Cons
    • More expensive than other services
    • Does not have an app
  • 7
    LifeFone

    LifeFone

    • Best forDaily medication reminders
    • Price$29.95-$49.95
    • ConnectivityCellular, landline, WiFi

    LifeFone has been in business for over 50 years. Their packages start at $29.95, with fall detection offered at an additional $5 per month. The initial subscription price covers the equipment's cost. 

    This medical alert system stocks at-home units connecting to landlines with a 1,300-foot field range. They also sell on-the-go pendants with cellular connectivity options alongside a mobile app for caregivers that can track a user's daily step goal, view their current location, and check their device's battery level.

    The company offers price lock, 30-day money-back, and lifetime manufacturer guarantees. Their referral program rewards you with a free month of service for every new customer you send their way

    Why we chose LifeFone: LifeFone doesn't charge activation or processing fees. It allows customers to subscribe to daily check-in calls and medication reminders, and its on-the-go VIPx pendants have a solid 10-day battery life.

    Our experience: We thought LifeFone's system was well-designed and easy to use—with a simple and minimized set of features. We also liked that the company gave us 30 days to test the service and told us we could cancel anytime without incurring penalty fees.

    Pros
    • Price lock guarantee
    • Daily check-ins
    • Long-range at-home devices
    Cons
    • No fall detection for at-home systems
    • Add-ons are pricey
  • 8
    Lively

    Lively

    • Best forCustomizable service packages
    • Price$24.99-$149.99
    • ConnectivityCellular, WiFi, GPS

    Lively's systems are fit for active seniors who spend a lot of time outside their homes. Their devices, ranging from flip phones and smartphones to wearable medical alert equipment, provide on-the-go functionality and have cellular and WiFi connectivity options. 

    You can also install Lively's services on any Apple Watch or Alexa device. However, their gadgets come with large screens, powerful speakers, and voice typing, making them exceptionally senior-friendly. You won't be asked to sign long-term contracts, and monthly pricing depends on your selected service.

    Why we chose Lively: Lively offers various customizable packages to suit different needs. The Premium Package, for example, allows you to contact on-call registered nurses and board-certified doctors without making an appointment. This telehealthcare feature makes the system an attractive option for people needing quick access to professional medical advice.

    Our experience: We liked that Lively allows customers to use more than a single device option. We also appreciate that there are no long-term agreements or cancellation fees.

    Pros
    • Devices designed to be senior-friendly
    • Customizable health and safety packages
    • No long-term contracts or cancellation fees
    Cons
    • Charges activation fees
    • No landline options
  • 9
    Medical Alert

    Medical Alert

    • Best forAccess to free mobile app features
    • Price$27.95-$47-95
    • ConnectivityCellular, landline, GPS

    Medical Alert has an in-home system with a base unit and waterproof help button, wearable on your neck or wrist. There is also an on-the-go option with GPS and a help button, giving you more freedom to move around your house.

    Medical Alert's plans include access to a free mobile app that connects you directly to customer support, pinpointing your location and checking your device's battery status. This company boasts industry-leading response times and 24/7 monitoring all year round, with access to trained response coordinators. They also charge no upfront device, setup, or activation fees.

    Why we chose Medical Alert: You can select a bundled option that integrates the in-home and on-the-go systems. One device performs all the necessary functions - rendering their systems simple to set up and use. 

    Our experience: We found Medical Alert's equipment integration made it very convenient to use this system. We also liked that the help buttons are lightweight and waterproof. However, we did notice that the mobile devices needed daily charging.

    Pros
    • Easy-to-use system
    • Help buttons are lightweight and waterproof
    • No upfront activation fees
    Cons
    • No medication reminders
    • Mobile device needs to be charged daily
  • 10
    Lifeline

    Lifeline

    • Best forAccess to optional add-on accessories
    • Price$29.95-$49.95
    • ConnectivityCellular, landline, WiFi, GPS

    Lifeline (formerly Phillips Lifeline) has response centers throughout the US and Canada, with a team of specially trained emergency operators available around the clock. This provider also gives clients access to the Lifeline Cares application, which notifies families of any important information or updates about the user's care. The app comes with mobile tools that let caregivers and family check in at any time—even if it's not an emergency. But while pricing starts at $29.95 per month, you'll need to pay additional activation and installation fees upfront. 

    Why we chose Lifeline: Lifeline's AutoAlert technology uses what they term "a finely tuned algorithm" to increase the accuracy of their fall detection software. According to the system's site, this senior safety technology can detect up to 95% of fall types.

    Our experience: We liked that Lifeline gives users access to multiple optional add-on accessories, including a voice extender, medication dispenser, and lockbox. We also appreciated the option to have a technician install our device.

    Pros
    • Free Lifeline Cares app
    • Average answer time of 20 seconds
    • Accurate fall detection included in certain plans
    Cons
    • Charges cancellation fees
    • Upfront activation and installation fees


Comparing the Best Medical Alert Systems: A Comprehensive Guide

Consult the comparison table below to compare the different services' prices and features and find a medical alert system that fits your lifestyle. This table contains information about each system's monitoring capabilities, device range, battery life, starting monthly fees, the cost of optional fall detection (if available), and whether the company offers trial periods. Note each system's connection type: If a device connects to cellular networks like AT&T or Verizon, you won't necessarily need to subscribe to that network, but check that you're within the network's coverage range.