The Best Medical Alert Systems of 2019

Medical alert systems are an ideal tool for people who still want freedom, but are in need of supervision due to medical needs. Senior citizens and even younger people with medical issues can benefit from one of these powerful devices.

There are multiple different medical alert systems out there today, ranging from simple devices kept in your house, to wearable pendants complete with GPS tracking. No matter the system, it gives the person using it the chance to live independently, while also providing peace of mind in knowing that help is just a button away.

SecurityNerd has broken down the 10 best medical alert systems on the market today. Check out our picks for the top systems before making this important decision for you or a loved one.

Our Favorite Medical Alert Systems

The Medical GuardianMobileHelp Medical AlertADT Medical AlertBay Alarm Medical
Monthly costStarting at $29.95/monthStarting at $19.95/monthStarting at $29.99/monthStarting at $19.95/month
With fall detection$10/month$10/month$10/month$10/month
Range1300 ft. indoors; mobile is unlimited600 ft indoors; mobile unlimited600 ft. indoors; mobile unlimited1000 ft. indoors; mobile unlimited
Fall detection range1300 ft.350-600 ft.600 ft.800 ft
LandlineYesYesYesYes
Cellular connectionYesYesYesYes
AppYesYesYesYes
Battery backup32 hours30 hours30 hours32 hours
GPS optionYesYesYesYes

The Full Top Ten

1. The Medical Guardian

Our pick for the best overall system.

This is one of the best medical alert devices on the market, thanks to the wide variety of options that can fit just about anyone’s needs. You can choose from three different at-home devices or three different “on-the-go” options to use while you or your loved one are outside the house.

Each option, whether at home or not, offers fall detection at an additional charge. Customers get to set their own “Care Circle” of trusted individuals who will be notified in case of an emergency and the user-friendly mobile app makes it easy for loved ones to check in.

Pricing and Features

  • Price: The in-home option starts at $29.95, and gets more expensive as you add more features. Mobile options start at $39.95 a month.
  • Features:
    • Landline, cellular, or wifi enabled options
    • Fall detection
    • Wearable options available
    • 30 hour battery backup
    • Two-way communication
    • Mobile app
    • Activity monitoring
  • Security Plan: Not required
Nerd Pros
  • No long term contracts: You don’t have to worry about getting locked in to any long contracts.
  • Fall detection: An important safety feature for many, but some companies do not offer it.
  • Customization: There are multiple equipment options that are sure to fit anyone’s needs, whether the user is active or tends to stay close to home.
Nerd Cons
  • Price: If you want all the bells and whistles, you’ll be paying upwards of $75 per month, which can be a turnoff for budget-minded consumers.
  • Activity monitoring only available on top tier: We think activity monitoring can be an important feature, and to leave it for only the most expensive tier is disappointing.

Sale
Classic Guardian Life Saving Medical Alert System by Medical GuardianTM - Emergency Alarm Button, 24/7 Monitoring for Seniors, 1,300 Feet of Protection, Home Landline System (1 Month Free)
  • 1,300 Feet Of Coverage & Landline - This medical alert system has 1,300 feet of protection from your wearable help button to the base...
  • Two Way Communication - Classic Guardian’s emergency base station has a built-in, two-way speaker that allows you to communicate directly...
  • Power Outage Protection - If the power goes out because of a storm or unexpected outage, our Classic Guardian medical alert system has a...
  • High-quality & Waterproof - No need to worry about getting your wrist bracelet or necklace wearable help buttons wet. You can feel...
  • 1 Free Month Of Service - Activation of service required prior to use! Call to activate - service plans start at only $39.95 per month. You...

2. MobileHelp Medical Alert

Our pick for best equipment.

This medical alert device is simple to use, and works wherever you go. The cellular-based system is ideal for active seniors. From a wearable smart watch to an innovative tablet called MobileHelp Touch, there are multiple different equipment options available.

The equipment is simple to use, and has 4G connection linked with Rapid Response and 24/7 monitoring. With a 17 second response time, MobileHelp is top of its class. You can also add on extras like medication reminders, activity tracking and mobile GPS.

Pricing and Features

  • Price: Starting at $19.95/month
  • Features:
    • Cellular-based system
    • Location tracking
    • 30 hour battery backup
    • Two-way communication
    • Waterproof equipment
  • Security Plan: Not required
Nerd Pros
  • Real-time location tracking.
  • Response time: At 17 seconds, it’s one of the best response times on the market.
  • Equipment options: You’ll have a wide variety of options to choose from.
    • They carry everything from more traditional home-based devices to wearable buttons with GPS tracking.
  • Money back guarantee: If you don’t like the equipment or the way it works, you can return it within 30 days.
Nerd Cons
  • Cellular service: This medical alert device works on AT&T wireless, so if you don’t have great cell service, this might not be the right pick for you.
  • Limited range: A 600 ft. range to the base station is fairly limited compared with its competitors.

3. ADT Medical Alert

Our pick for the best security.

Although you don’t have to be an ADT home security customer to take advantage of the medical alert devices, it’s nice to have the trusted name of ADT behind the equipment. In-home options are available for less active seniors, in addition to mobile options with GPS capabilities for more independent individuals.

There is some flexibility between their three plans, too. You can choose to pay annually to save money, or go month-to-month. There is no charge for the equipment, and there are equipment options with added features like two-way communication and waterproof equipment.

Pricing and Features

  • Price: Starting at $29.99/month
  • Features:
    • Landline, cellular, or wifi enabled options
    • Fall detection
    • Waterproof options
    • GPS capabilities
    • Temperature sensors
  • Security Plan: Not required
Nerd Pros
  • No contracts required: You can choose to go month-to-month, or if you want to save money, you can sign an annual agreement.
  • Price lock guarantee: What you pay for the service now is what you’ll always pay for the length of time you have the equipment.
Nerd Cons
  • In home range: The in-home range for the product go from 300-600 feet, which may not be the best option for someone with a large house or if you want coverage into your backyard.
  • Equipment: Other companies offer more add-on equipment options and ADT’s equipment is basic in comparison to others.

4. Bay Alarm Medical

Our pick for the best value.

When it comes to getting bang for your buck, Bay Alarm is one of the best medical alert systems out there. With multiple options ranging from at-home to mobile, you’ll be able to keep an eye on your loved one at an affordable price.

Bay Alarm has been around for 70 years, and has a solid reputation with three redundant call centers and reliable equipment. There are some decent add-on features too, like fall detection and geofencing notifications.

Pricing and Features

  • Price: Starting at $19.95/month
  • Features:
    • Landline and cellular options
    • Activity and location monitoring
    • In-car option
    • Fall detection
    • Complementary spouse monitoring
  • Security Plan: Not required
Nerd Pros
  • In-car option: This is a feature you don’t see often. If you’re worried about your loved one driving, this medical alert device even has crash notifications along with GPS monitoring.
  • Price: Bay Alarm gives you a great value with low monthly payments, and you get more for your money when compared with other companies.
  • Complimentary spouse monitoring: If one person in the household has monitoring, you don’t have to spend double the money because you’ll get complimentary monitoring for spouses.
Nerd Cons
  • Response time: The company’s average 45-second response time is twice as long as competitors.
  • Replacement costs: Although there’s no upfront cost for your equipment, be wary of the replacement costs if it isn’t covered under warranty. You’ll be paying close to $300 for new equipment.

5. LifeStation Medical Alert

Our pick for a quick start on a budget.

This medical alert device option is perfect for those who don’t want to make a costly investment to get started with the service. There are no upfront fees or equipment costs with LifeStation, and you can get started for under $20 per month.

LifeStation’s mobile option is cheaper than competitors as well, but still has important features like fall protection and an easy way to alert loved ones if the user is in trouble. Note that fall detection is only available on the premium subscription plan.

Pricing and Features

  • Price: Starting at $19.95/month
  • Features:
    • Landline or cellular options
    • GPS monitoring
    • Personalized emergency action plan
    • Free equipment replacement
    • Message alert service
    • 20-second response time
  • Security Plan: None required
Nerd Pros
  • Cost: Compared with other companies, you will spend less to get started with LifeStation thanks to free equipment.
  • No contracts: You don’t have to worry about commitment because you aren’t required to sign a contract for the services.
  • Message alert service: Loved ones can get personalized alerts sent right to their phones if the user runs into any trouble.
Nerd Cons
  • Range: Compared to competitors, a 500 ft. range isn’t very impressive when it comes to medical alert systems.
  • Added users: Often times if you have an additional user, you can get spouses included at no cost. You will pay an extra $3.99 a month to cover a spouse with LifeStation.

6. LifeFone Medical Alert

Our pick for the best customization.

LifeFone is the ideal medical alert system for someone who wants lots of options. You can have a customer service representative help build your own package or choose from predetermined bundles.

You’ll also get to choose the type of button you want, including an innovative on-the-go necklace with GPS capabilities with two-way communication. You can also choose to complete your bundle with accessories like environmental monitoring and caregiver tools like medication reminders.

Pricing and Features

  • Price: Starting at $24.95/month
  • Features:
    • Spouses protected for free
    • GPS monitoring
    • Environmental monitoring
    • Fall detection
    • Two-way communication
    • Free equipment
    • GPS tracking
    • Impressive 1300 ft. range
  • Security Plan: Not required
Nerd Pros
  • Range: With the in-home model, the 1300 ft. range of detection beats out other competitors.
  • Free spouses: If your spouse needs a medical alert device, it’s free.
  • Add-ons: There is a wide range of add-ons other companies don’t have, so you can really turn it into a complete security package if you’d like.
  • Caregiver tools: LifeFone also offers help with some of the more mundane, yet important every day tasks like medication reminders. LifeFone can also do a daily check-in with the subscriber.
Nerd Cons
  • Price: If you take advantage of the add-ons, you may get sticker shock as they will drive up the price of the packages pretty quickly.
  • Speaker quality: Users have reported it may not be the best system if you need crisp and clear audio for someone that could be hard of hearing.
  • Average response time: The average response time is over 40 seconds, which is considerably higher when compared with other companies.

7. Philips Lifeline

Our pick for the best fall detection.

Falls are the leading cause of death for older Americans, and Philips takes that statistic seriously. That’s why it has created a fall detection system that the company says detects 95% of all falls, using an algorithm and barometric sensors to detect them. And unlike many other providers, fall detection is offered at no extra cost.

The 12-second response time is an industry leader, and it also helps that Philips is the company that pioneered medical alert systems. You have a name behind the equipment that people have trusted for decades.

Pricing and Features

  • Price: Starts at $29.95/month
  • Features:
    • Fall detection
    • 12-second average response time
    • Waterproof options
    • Redundant call centers
    • Medication dispenser
    • Personal care plans
  • Security Plan: Not required
Nerd Pros
  • Fall detection: If you or your loved one is in danger of falling or has fallen before, this is an ideal company to go with thanks to superior fall detection features.
  • No contract: You can go month to month with Philips.
  • Medication dispenser: Although it’s pricey, you can make sure your loved one receives proper medicine dosage even while you’re away. It can also notify you about missed doses or if there’s a need for refills.
Nerd Cons
  • Activation fee: You’ll have a one time activation fee of $50, which you can avoid with other companies.
  • No activity monitoring: For all the bells and whistles this option offers, it’s disappointing Philips doesn’t offer activity monitoring.

8. Medical Alert

Our pick for the best response centers.

If your loved one is in trouble, you want to know that you can trust who is on the end when they press the button for help. Medical Alert has a CSAA Five Diamond certified response center. There are operators standing by in 140 different languages.

This is an all-around good value with a simple setup and user-friendly equipment. There are no contracts, and you get a 30 day money back guarantee if you don’t like the service.

Pricing and Features

  • Price: Starts at $19.95/month
  • Features:
    • Caregiver app
    • Fall detection
    • GPS unit available
    • Waterproof equipment
  • Security Plan: Not required
Nerd Pros
  • Caregiver app: There is a specific app for the caregiver where they can check on the location of the user and receive custom notifications.
  • Cost: Compared with other companies, there is a low cost to get started with no activation fees.
Nerd Cons
  • Equipment features: If you’re looking for a wide array of add-on features like environmental monitoring, this won’t be the best choice.
  • Range: If the user has a large home or needs coverage out in the backyard, a 600 ft. range might not be sufficient, and is about half of what other companies offer.

9. Medical Care Alert

Our pick for the best customer service.

Medical Care Alert offers the basics without a ton of add ons. But if customer service is high on your list, you can’t go wrong choosing this company. It routinely wins Angie’s List Super Service award, with an A rating on Angie’s List and the BBB. Consumer Affairs says it has a 96% customer satisfaction rating.

Pricing and Features

  • Price: $29.00/month
  • Features:
    • GPS monitoring available
    • Waterproof options
    • Fall detection
    • Two-way communication
    • Risk-free trial
  • Security Plan: Not required
Nerd Pros
  • No contracts: You won’t have to get stuck in any contracts, and it also offers a risk-free trial.
  • Price: Prices for the system are low to begin with, but you get your equipment free, no activation fees, and multiple person monitoring at no additional charge.
  • Smartphone app: If you subscribe to the mobile plan, there is a smartphone app where loved ones can check in and pinpoint your location.
  • Price lock: What you pay now is what you’ll pay throughout the life of your system.
Nerd Cons
  • Add ons: If you want medical security devices that offer lots of add-on features, this isn’t your best choice.
  • Language limitations: While you’ll receive superior customer service, agents only speak English and Spanish.

10. Response Now

Our pick for the best battery life.

Medical alert devices are incredibly useful, but not if you’re forgetful about charging them. Response Now has some great features for absent-minded customers, including superior battery life. Depending on the model, there are equipment options that hold anywhere from a 5 day to charge, to a 30 day charge.

You can choose between an in-home pendant or mobile alert device for more active users. Fall detection and a waterproof shower pendant and wristband round out the offerings.

Pricing and Features

  • Price: Starts at $29.95/month
  • Features:
    • Water resistant options
    • Extended battery life
    • Two-way communication
    • Free equipment
    • Fall detection
    • GPS tracking
  • Security Plan: Not required
Nerd Pros
  • Batteries: You can’t beat a 30-day battery life from a 3-hour charge.
  • Flexibility: You have the choice to be billed month-to-month, quarterly, or annually. You’ll save a little money if you sign on for a year.
Nerd Cons
  • Equipment: There aren’t as many options to choose from when it comes to equipment when compared to other companies.
  • No mobile app: It is disappointing for caregivers to not have an app where they can easily check on their loved one’s location.

How medical alert systems work

Medical alert systems give senior citizens or people with health issues plenty of freedom and independence while ensuring their personal safety. When the medical alert user is in trouble, they can press a button to either immediately call authorities or call loved ones for help.

The button can trigger the base station inside a home, or if it is a mobile unit, it is cellular-based. The type of equipment you need is based on what each specific company offers. These medical alert devices can come in the form of a standard button or all the way to a smart watch and wearable necklace pendant.

What to look for when shopping for a medical alert system

  • Types of detection: If a senior citizen is using the medical alert device and they have a history of falling, it is important to add automatic fall detection onto your plan. There are also medical alert devices that monitor environmental hazards in case of a fire or carbon monoxide poisoning.
  • Price: Medical alert systems vary widely in price, but are generally affordable. Add-ons will up the price.
  • Monthly monitoring: While there are some companies that require you to sign a contract for medical alert systems, there are multiple choices where you aren’t stuck in a contract.
  • Location monitoring: Family members can see where the user is located, and if there is trouble, GPS locations can be provided to emergency personnel.
  • Range: For in-home products, you’ll want to take note of the range, which is how far the panic button can be from home base before it stops working. Measure your home to see if the range fits within your needs.
  • Cell vs landline: Generally, cellular service is considered superior with medical alert devices because it can work anywhere. However, if you live in an area with poor service, you may want to opt for a landline option.
  • Customer service: Customer service is crucial with medical devices, because when the user presses the button for help, you want someone who is compassionate and quick to help on the other end. If your loved one speaks a different language than English or Spanish, you should make sure to choose a company that can converse with them in case of an emergency.
  • Mobile app: If you’re keeping an eye on a family member who may need help, a mobile app can be a great way to save time and stay in touch. Receiving automatic updates and seeing a user’s activity are just a few benefits to having a mobile app.

The best medical alert systems provide independence, comfort, and ultimately help for someone who may have medical issues. Choosing the right device depends on a user’s mobility, budget and personal needs.

Whether you’re looking for a no-frills at home system or a mobile security alert device with all the latest features, there are multiple companies that can help with your security needs. And even though you hope to never have to use it, you’ll be glad to have a medical security device in case of an emergency.

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About the Author

Erin MaloneyErin Maloney
Erin is a freelance video producer and writer based out of Florida. She works with major retail companies and digital startups as a brand storyteller. When Erin's not writing, you can catch her scuba diving and spending time with her dog (not at the same time).