Adults ages 65 and older are considered the most at risk for accidents in and out of the home. In fact, according to recent studies carried out by the US Center for Disease Control (CDC), over 36 million falls occur in older adults in the US every year - with 32 thousand of those falls resulting in death.
There are many types of medical alert systems on the market designed for automatic fall detection and more, and choosing the right one for yourself, a friend, or a family member can mean the difference between life and death. That is why we’ve come up with the 5 top medical alert providers to help you understand options and choose the best medical alert service for monitoring and protecting - both in and out of the home.
5 Best Medical Alert Systems & Providers
- MobileHelp: Editor’s Choice - Best Device Coverage Options
- Medical Care Alert: Runner-Up
- Bay Alarm Medical
How Did We Choose These 5 Medical Alert Systems?
Our team of researchers knew that picking the best medical alert systems wouldn’t be an easy task as there are many outstanding medical alert companies to choose from.
For our first step, we narrowed down all the choices to 15-20 excellent medical alert providers based on our research and industry knowledge. Then we began asking specific questions about each of the medical alert companies to better understand their customer satisfaction, ease of use, and reputation among other users. Finally, we looked at the added features offered by each company to determine which medical alert systems were superior in their field.
These criteria enabled us to curate and rank a list of the best medical alert systems. With this list, you’ll be able to make an informed choice about purchasing a top medical alert system for either yourself or someone you love.
Top Medical Alert System Providers
1. MobileHelp: Editor’s Choice - Best Device Coverage Options
- Wide variety of medical alert equipment options
- Excellent support team available to help you 24/7
- An easy-to-use website with lots of helpful information
- Fast response time
- Some products require a one-time activation fee
MobileHelp has excellent customer service and dependable emergency medical alert services. Their monitoring center is one that you can trust to respond to any alerts or emergencies quickly - and they offer a wide variety of options for your medical alert device.
Equipment offered by Mobile Help
Mobile Help has a range of in-home and on-the-go devices to ensure that older adults have fully comprehensive medical emergency coverage no matter where they are. Medical alert devices include classic medical alert units installed in the home and touch screen panels that are easy to read and provide quick access to emergency services, medication reminders, and emergency call lists.
Additionally, they have a wide range of accessories that can be worn on the belt or around the neck for people who want a personal emergency medical alert device without installing an in-home unit.
How much does it cost?
You can purchase an alert unit from Mobile Help for less than $40 per month, and they have a customizable plan that allows you to add additional coverage or other services at your discretion. They do not require you to sign a long-term contract or have a contract for cell service.
What services are included with Mobile Help?
When it comes to medical alert systems, Mobile Help offers the following features:
- automatic fall detection
- remote rescue
- voice recognition
- GPS Tracking
- home health monitoring
- emergency response monitoring
- medication reminders
Who benefits the most from Mobile Help?
Older adults who want a wide variety of excellent medical alert devices for more than just fall detection, and who want the flexibility to change their coverage as needed will benefit most from Mobile Help.
2. Medical Care Alert: Runner-Up
- Variety of plans suitable for any budget
- Nationwide coverage
- Small and lightweight mobile devices
- Emergency response operators are EMT certified
- Automatic fall detection service is an extra fee
Medical Care Alert meets all the requirements for any individual seeking at home or on-the-go medical alert systems at an affordable price. Their products are arranged by how active and mobile a person is, making their website a great way to choose the right medical alert system for your lifestyle.
Equipment offered by Medical Care Alert
Medical Care Alert can provide customers with various medical alert devices and equipment options, including both on-the-go mobile medical alert systems and at-home systems. Their mobile devices come in two distinct varieties: voice-activated medical alert systems that rely on wireless technology and traditional button-activated alert systems that the user can wear or carry. Their base units are wall-mounted and can be put anywhere inside or outside of the home.
How much does it cost?
The starting price for a Medical Care Alert system is under $28 a month. In addition, there are no activation fees, no long-term contracts, and no fees for accidental button pushes or false alarms. The company also offers packages as high as approximately $40 a month for active seniors who want coverage inside their home and around their property.
Regardless of the package chosen, the equipment costs are always included in the monthly fee, which is the most budget-friendly out of all the best medical alert systems that made our list.
What services does Medical Care Alert offer?
Medical Care Alert provides customers with a variety of features for their at-home and mobile medical alert devices, including:
- 24/7 monitoring
- Automatic fall detection alerts available
- GPS location tracking available
- text message alerts to emergency contacts and home care workers
Who benefits the most from Medical Care Alert?
Anyone on a budget and seeking a well-trained customer care staff with medical training will benefit from using Medical Care Alert. Additionally, any person looking for lightweight and discreet medical alert options will enjoy the dimensions of the devices offered by Medical Care Alert.
3. Bay Alarm Medical
- Stylish accessories for medical emergency monitoring
- Multiple plans to choose from depending on the level of care needed
- Mobile apps for updating emergency contact information and medical history
- Fees to purchase some equipment are high
One of the oldest medical alert companies, Bay Alarm Medical provides its customers with some of the most efficient GPS targeted medical services with the touch of a button on their stylish accessories.
Equipment offered with Bay Alarm Medical
Bay Alarm Medical offers standard base units for the home connected to a landline or a mobile system if a customer doesn’t have a landline. Additionally, they offer various on-the-go equipment such as a stylish smartwatch and a car medical alert monitoring device. The smartwatch can send emergency responders to you with the push of a button and features a crystal clear 2-way speaker and microphone. It also functions as an actual watch!
The car medical alert device is unique to Bay Alarm Medical. It stores critical medical information and it automatically detects an accident and contacts first responders.
How much does it cost?
Bay Alarm Medical packages start around $23 for a standard home monitoring kit. After that, prices go up closer to $50 monthly for additional devices. The smartwatch and on-the-go mobile devices can be purchased individually for their own cost per product or combined with home units for savings.
What services are offered with Bay Alarm Medical?
In addition to 24/7 monitoring services, Bay Alarm Medical also offers GPS locations for emergency medical services and a handy mobile app that lets emergency services know who to contact and essential medical information. Higher-end packages include an app for caregivers to track locations as well as low battery alerts.
Who benefits the most from Bay Medical Alert?
Active seniors who are frequently away from home will benefit most from Bay Alarm Medical GPS tracking and emergency service devices. Additionally, those who drive often or do not like wearing noticeable medical alert devices will benefit from the accessory choices and car monitoring options Bay Alarm Medical provides.
- Packages for any size home
- No devices to wear
- Unparalleled speech recognition
- Easy at home installation
- Initial equipment cost in addition to monthly monitoring fees
- No on-the-go monitoring
GetSafe offers easy to install home medical alert systems that can be tailored to fit the size of your home. Their superior speech recognition technology makes it easy to get medical assistance no matter where you are experiencing an emergency in your home – without having to wear a device.
Equipment offered by GetSafe
The GetSafe best medical alert system consists of wall-mounted voice recognition and emergency assistance buttons that can be installed anywhere in the home. Their systems are designed to be very discreet and are easy for anyone to install and use. Although the medical alert system is designed to free the user of the requirement to wear a potentially cumbersome medical alert device, GetSafe does have traditional push-button devices available (with or without automatic fall detection) if desired.
How much does it cost?
GetSafe prices their packages based on the number of rooms you want to install devices in. No matter how many rooms you want to cover, you’ll receive the same excellent customer service for less than $25 per month. However, there are one-time equipment costs that increase along with the number of rooms you want to cover. For enough medical alert monitoring equipment for a studio or one-bedroom apartment, home, or condo, equipment costs are roughly $80.
For a 2-4 bedroom house, customers can expect to pay about $150 for the equipment, in addition to the monthly service fee. And for larger homes of 5 or more rooms, equipment costs will be over $200.
What services are included with GetSafe?
GetSafe is probably the most basic of medical alert service providers on this list, focusing on providing customers with an at-home monitoring system in case of falls or other in-home health emergencies. However, they provide customers with 24/7 assistance and keep their emergency monitoring center separate from their customer care call center so that there is never a delay in providing emergency responders when they are most needed.
Who benefits the most from GetSafe?
Those who are seeking at-home medical alert monitoring center services and don’t want to wear remote devices will benefit the most from the best medical alert systems offered by GetSafe.
- 24/7 emergency response monitoring
- Large selection of equipment options
- Free alert button for loved ones
- Available in all 50 states
- The system sometimes detects a false alarm
LifeFone provides you with a medical alert device, and customizable alert services that benefit older adults living independently or in rural areas.
Equipment offered by LifeFone
LifeFone’s products aren’t as extensive as some of the other options on this list, but what they do carry is sure to provide excellent assistance when you need it most. LifeFone’s at-home medical alert systems can be hooked up to a landline or connected to the AT&T or Verizon cellular network for those that do not have a landline. No additional cell phone service is needed.
The on-the-go personal emergency response systems and in-home devices offer crystal clear two-way speech, so no matter where you are, you always have a line of communication open to the monitoring center.
How much does it cost?
LifeFone is pretty affordable, with a basic landline medical alert device starting under $25 a month. Combining at-home devices with mobile devices for when you are away from your home is slightly more expensive month to month, but won’t break the bank. Plans can be cancelled at any time, and there are no activation fees or extra costs if you accidentally hit the emergency services button.
What services are included with LifeFone?
In addition to their excellent customer service, customizable personal emergency response services (to tailor response instructions to individual needs) and in-home and mobile devices, LifeFone offers these services to all of their clients as part of their device packages or as an additional monthly charge:
- 24/7 emergency response monitoring
- remote medical alert access
- GPS tracking
- device replacement insurance
- free smart button for loved ones
- fire & smoke detection
- intruder response services
- automatic fall detection
Who benefits the most from LifeFone?
Any person 65 or older living on their own or in a rural area should consider using LifeFone since their medical alert systems also include assistance in the event of a fire, burglary, and other non-medical emergencies.
Learn more at LifeFone.com
What are Medical Alert Systems?
In essence, a medical alert system is just that - a system that can be installed in the home or worn as a portable device that alerts emergency services, an emergency monitoring center or other pre-programmed emergency contacts if the user has an accident, is ill, or has a medical emergency.
Medical alert systems have been in use for decades, helping avoid unnecessary tragedies and affording seniors and those in need of round-the-clock supervision a better quality of life regardless of their medical conditions.
Who Should Be Using a Medical Alert System?
Medical alert systems are most commonly used by older adults aged 65 and up primarily for fall detection. Considering that most statistics point to the fact that seniors are more prone to accidents in and outside of the home, it makes sense that most medical alert companies advertise to this age group.
This is not the only demographic that can benefit from a medical alert system, however. Anyone who wants to live independently and is at risk of having an accident or living with certain health conditions such as epilepsy may benefit from a medical alert system. For children who have special needs, a medical alert system provides caregivers with peace of mind knowing that their child can get help quickly in case of an accident or other emergency if they aren’t around.
How Do Medical Alert Systems Work?
Medical alert companies may have slightly different ways of doing things, but they all work to provide a similar service: 24/7 monitoring and responding to medical emergencies a customer has, including but not limited to:
- faintness or dizziness
- heart attack
- respiratory problems
- mobility issues
Medical alert service providers achieve this by providing personal wearable medical alert devices and/or fitting customers’ homes with medical alert systems so that help can be called easily and quickly.
What Types of Devices are Used With a Medical Alert System?
Landline or Cellular-Connected In-Home Devices
These box-shaped devices are installed in the home and connected to a landline or a cellular network (usually AT&T or Verizon). When an emergency happens, customers can press the large (typically red) help button or use the voice-activated systems to call or request:
- emergency contacts (family, friend, home care worker)
These requests are facilitated by the dedicated call monitoring center of the medical alert service provider. The best medical alert providers will have numerous call centers across the USA so that those in need of emergency assistance do not have to wait long for help to arrive.
Many devices are designed to have a long-lasting battery life, with emergency buttons and automatic fall detection features lasting no less than 30 hours in the event of a power outage. In addition, to compensate for possible long-term power outages, devices can usually be operated using batteries, ensuring that those with medical alert systems have the round-the-clock assurance that help can be reached at any time. Boxes on a wireless network can be installed outside the home, such as the garden, porch, garage, or mailbox. This is a great way to ensure that help can be reached no matter where a person is in or around their home.
Some companies have ditched the classic 1970s box look for modernized touch screen tablets thanks to advancements in medical alert technology. These tablets perform the same functions as their predecessors but are easier to read and have a host of additional functions such as:
- medication reminders
- emergency contact lists
- alarm clock functionality
- diet and meal planning
- home environment monitoring
- medical information & history
Smaller than the in-home boxes, is a portable medical alert device that is lightweight and contains many of the same features as their larger counterparts. Much like an in-home medical alert box, portable devices also utilize a button to summon emergency responders to a person’s location. These convenient-to-carry devices feature a crystal clear two-way communication system with the customer and the call monitoring center so that help can be summoned during an emergency when not in range of an in-home device.
Portable devices designed for on-the-go medical assistance when not at home also come with GPS tracking and automatically connect to cellular networks - no matter where you are in the USA. This enables call centers to send help quickly and accurately to wherever ailing customers may be.
Portable devices come in a lot more varieties than traditional in-home devices to meet style and discretion preferences including:
- smart watches
- car plugins
By combining in-home devices with portable devices, the best medical alert systems give customers the flexibility to choose their level of safety and the way they want to receive help in case of an emergency.
How to Choose the Right Medical Alert System
Understanding how a medical alert system works is only part of the solution to getting a reliable medical alert service that meets your unique needs. There are many other factors to consider if you want to ensure that you have the right protection in any situation. When considering the best medical alert system provider, it’s best to ask yourself the following questions.
What do I need a medical alert system for?
Knowing exactly what you need a medical alert system for will best determine which company is right for you. For example, if you are prone to falling, look for a company that offers automatic fall detection in their devices. Likewise, seniors at risk of injury in the shower or bathtub should consider a company that makes a waterproof medical alert device in addition to fall detection.
If you want to keep track of your daily prescription or vitamin intake, look for a system that has built-in medication management. For providing access to medical information and history, consider a company that offers customizable emergency response buttons and readouts with mobile apps.
What is my budget for a medical alert system?
Medical alert system providers charge a monthly fee for monitoring and response services. While this fee varies between medical alert companies and might not break the bank, other expenses such as activation, equipment, setup, or premium services may drive the overall cost much higher.
In general, you should expect to pay at least $25 a month for monitoring and response services. If you are trying to stay within a particular budget, look for a medical alert system provider that covers most of your needs (like automatic fall detection) within the monthly service fee.
Do I leave my house often?
The answer to this question will help determine costs and the type of medical alert device you may need. For example, if you live an active lifestyle, it may be wiser to purchase an on-the-go portable device such as a watch, pendant, or belt clip that can be worn outside of the home. A mobile system like these devices is great for those who want to continue living their lives despite medical conditions that require a medical alert system’s extra security and protection.
If you are more homebound than not or less able to go out independently, a portable device is not as practical for you. In this case, an in-home medical alert system may be the best choice for fall detection or other emergencies, as it offers the most significant level of security, protection, and around-the-clock monitoring by professionals.
Do I live alone?
Living alone or remotely in rural areas will also determine what type of medical alert system provider you choose. For example, if you are on your own and don’t get visitors often, it could be a good idea to select a service that provides automatic fall detection through the use of a portable device. Some medical alert system providers also offer additional smoke and fire detection features to ensure that you stay safe when living on your own.
For those living alone in rural areas, be sure to check cellular service coverage; landline service may be a better option for medical alert services.
Who do I need to contact in case of an emergency?
Many medical alert systems can be customized to notify emergency contacts when you have an accident or injury. If you have a regular caregiver who should be contacted in an emergency, then it’s best to consider a provider that offers this with their service. It should be noted that not all services provide this as a standard feature, so the price for this may be added on to your monthly service fee.
Additional Considerations for Choosing a Medical Alert System
The questions above aren’t the only consideration one needs to think about when choosing the best medical alert system provider. Other factors to consider include:
- Service availability and reliability
- Size of coverage area
- Features and extras
- Customer reviews and testimonials
- Number of devices needed
- Size of living space to be monitored
- Ease of use and system access
What if I Can’t Afford the Medical System I Need?
The majority of adults aged 65 and up are much more likely to live in poverty than younger Americans. This disparity reflects the fact that many seniors on a fixed income may not be able to cover the monthly costs of a medical alert system - let alone the additional costs of extra devices, activation, specialized portable equipment, and necessary features like automatic fall detection.
Fortunately, many organizations and charities work to provide medical alert systems for those who need them at little or no cost. In addition, some medical alert companies also offer their own discount programs, so be sure to ask about this. If you have Medicaid or Medicare, you may also qualify for a medical alert system at little to no cost.
It is best to contact the medical alert system provider you wish to purchase from to discuss how they can provide possible payment assistance for seniors who require these essential life-saving services. The best medical alert companies will be able to work with you to determine a solution so you can afford the medical alert system without going into debt or having to skip paying for other essential services and medications.
Frequently Asked Questions
1. Who can install a medical alert system?
Most medical alert systems are mailed to customers with easy-to-follow installation instructions. These instructions are available in written and video form. In addition, customer service is always available to help walk customers through the setup process to ensure their system is working correctly.
2. Can I get a refund?
If you find that the medical alert system you have ordered isn’t meeting your needs, you usually have 30 days to return the equipment and accessories and get a full refund. Additionally, most services will let you cancel at any time, with most offering no long-term contracts or obligations.
3. Can I add more equipment later?
Yes. If you find that your lifestyle requires more devices or a different type of device, you can order more from your medical alert service provider. However, keep in mind that these additional devices may increase your monthly fees.
4. Are the customer service representatives always listening to me?
No. Customer service representatives are only contacted when you push the help button or use the voice-activated services. They may, however, continuously monitor your devices through the use of analytical data that reports your vitals, potential falls, intruder alerts, and smoke and fire detection.
5. Can I set rules for how and where emergency services enter my home?
Absolutely. In fact, many medical alert services ask for this information when you start using their systems. Additionally, they usually provide a free key safe to put outside of your door so that emergency responders don’t need to damage your property to provide life-saving assistance.
6. What happens if I call for help accidentally?
Medical alert system providers understand that accidents and false alarms happen from time to time. If you do accidentally press the button, it is no big deal. That is why devices feature communication technology so that customer care representatives can verify your reasons for pressing the button before contacting emergency responders.
Get the Protection You Need With a Medical Alert System
A medical alert system is an excellent way for seniors and those with disabilities to maintain dignity and independence. There are many reliable medical alert systems on the market, but it is essential to do your research and ask the right questions before you make a final decision as to which one will best suit your lifestyle, budget, and living situation.
With one of the best medical alert systems monitoring your needs, you can feel confident that you will always be able to get the help you need to remain safe and secure.
While falls and other accidents may be unavoidable as we get older, the truth is that they don’t have to end in death or extensive emergency room treatment if you have an emergency medical alert system. These systems are not only designed for fall detection, they can also provide life-saving emergency services sent right to the exact location of the accident thanks to advanced GPS technologies.