In a Nutshell
- Good customer support
- Free ground shipping throughout the US
- 2 product styles offered
- A recurring subscription is required
- Payment is for the lease, not the purchase, of the device
- No GPS function offered outside the home
Additionally, reviews of the service and customer support contact details, including email, phone and social networks are provided. In terms of the company and its reputation, we noted that QMedic has been backed by the National Institutes of Health and awarded the Cleveland Clinic Future of Medicine Award, and has been recognized by AARP, TEDMED and Athenahealth.
- Aging, high-risk and disabled consumers
- Caregivers looking to target the right services for their loved ones or patients
When QMedic’s wristband or pendant monitoring device is worn, it passively detects abnormal events and behaviors displayed by the wearer, in order to forewarn family members and medical personnel of any possible incident or decline. Behaviors include sleep disturbances, late wake-up times, periods of inactivity or lack of motion, location (limited to indoor only), and time spent outside the home. After picking up abnormalities in behaviors, the device sends real-time alerts to pre-selected caregivers in a 24/7 medical help center, allowing them to respond to any emergency necessary or to just further monitor the situation, ensuring safety and wellness of the consumer. The monitoring center takes action on every call, so if the device button is pressed but the patient can’t speak, an ambulance or caregiver will be alerted, and will respond accordingly.
QMedic uses machine learning algorithms within its monitoring services to track and detect current subscriber activity, sleep, and compliance (wear) status, and to predict future ones. This allows caregivers to be proactive in care and eliminate more medical emergencies. Monthly wellness reports can be generated for the designated caregivers or family members.
Both the wristband and pendant offer features that emphasize simplicity for patients. Both devices are waterproof, including the plastic call button and the adjustable wristband. This feature allows the device to be worn at all times, ensuring maximum monitoring. Additionally, devices don’t need to be recharged. QMedic states that once the device is received, the battery will last for 2 years. The company monitors the battery at all times, and will send a new wearable for free if the battery runs low. If you’re worried about the battery, you can call customer support to check its level. The devices — both wristband and pendant — are thinner than we expected, which ensures comfort for the wearer.
The base station is a white box about the size of a WiFi router, and serves as the speaker and microphone for the alert service. In terms of range, there’s a 1,000 foot range from the device to the base station. The base station is modern and sleek looking, and can be configured to a landline or cellular connection, depending on specific needs, and its battery can last up to 24 hours if it gets disconnected from its power source, or if electricity is lost.
24/7 “link to safety,” 2-way communication
Setting up QMedic starts with picking the desired location for the base station (it’s best to have it in a central area of your home that is easily accessible). After choosing its location, all you have to do is either plug it into a power source and a landline phone port, or, if the cellular option is chosen, plug it into a power source and turn it on.
If the landline base station option is chosen, take out the current phone using the landline phone jack from the port, and plug the base station in. Then, you can take your phone and plug it directly into a port on the base station itself. This way, you are able to use both the QMedic base station as well as your phone to make calls. The cellular setup is slightly easier to use, as the base station comes with a pre-installed sim card in the device and all you have to do is plug it into a power source. You can set your preferences and choose who the caregiver or the monitoring center should contact in the case of an emergency. After the base station has been properly installed, test both the base and the wearable device by pressing the button on your wristband or pendant to make a call.
QMedic does not require maintenance by either the wearer or the care network.
Contract and Fees
When activating QMedic's service, users provide personal information to the company, including name, address, emergency contact information, demographic information and billing address. The company also records all physical activity, sleep and location data to ensure the personal safety of the user, which will only be shared with the user, QMedic, QMedic's call staff, required emergency services, and the caregiver assigned to the user's account.
Though it does collect a lot of data, QMedic maintains full compliance with HIPAA regulations. The contract states that it has the right to share all the above information with people or health organizations that respond to an emergency situation.
When purchasing QMedic, the first step is to select the connectivity — landline or cellular (both options cost the same). You’re then prompted to select your plan and device preference. When signing up, be aware that you’re signing up for a recurring subscription and that payment to QMedic is for the lease of the device, not its purchase, so you’ll need to return it after your plan ends. Next, select either the wristband or pendant option and then choose your billing cycle — monthly or annually.
Pricing per month gets cheaper the longer you plan to have the service. Monthly plan costs $30 per month, while the annual plan costs $25 per month (paid as $300/year). Free ground shipping throughout the US is available, but premium fees will be charged for expedited overnight and 2-day shipping.
* updated September 2017
Every QMedic plan comes with a 30-day money-back guarantee, with the 30 days counted from when the system is first activated. There are no cancellation fees.
The company offers a Monday through Friday, 9am-5pm customer support line as well as two different company email addresses, depending on if it’s sales or support you’re in need of. We gave its customer service line a try to see how it measured up, and we were pleasantly surprised. After dialing the toll-free number, we waited for approximately 30 seconds before being greeted by a representative. The representative confidently answered all of our questions, whether it was about the product itself, the call center support, or the background of the company.
It’s also simple to schedule a demo on the website. After clicking the “schedule a demo” button, you’re asked to select your profession — MD, nurse, consultant, leadership at a care network, and so on. After making your selection, you’re prompted to choose from a list of options that answer why you’re interested in QMedic’s service, and after filling in your contact details, QMedic will get in touch with you.
With its team backed by scientists and health care professionals, an offering of 2 well designed product options to suit different preferences, a dedication to consumers and their health, and a 30-day money back guarantee, QMedic offers great value for money. Its website is clear and to-the-point, detailing everything you need to know about its medical alert service. QMedic offers many channels to get in touch with a customer service representative, should you have questions or concerns, including phone, email, and even updated social media channels.
QMedic was founded in 2010 by a team of MIT scientists, healthcare professionals and technologists who believe that “the future of care management revolves around helping people live at home and get the right services at the right time at lower cost.”
It has raised over $4 million in funding from the National Institute of Health, won the 2013 Cleveland Clinic Future of Medicine Award, been named Top 50 Innovator in the world by TEDMED, and were finalists for AARP’s Innovation 50+ Award. The company is based in Boston, MA.
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