What Is a Medical Alert System?
Medical alert systems, also known as individual emergency response systems, provide a quick and simple way for the senior, individuals with health concerns, and those who live alone, to get aid during an emergency situation, whether it be a medical concern, a fall, a fire, or any occasion that requires an immediate action. In a nutshell, these systems contain a help button that dials up an emergency reaction center and connects you to a live representative.
The most basic systems use a landline and include a base unit and a portable assistance button you can use around the house, but there are cellular alternatives and GPS-based mobile solutions for people on the go, as well as alternatives that automatically send out an alarm when a fall is detected. Some services will even call you to advise you to take your medications. Keep reading to see what sort of medical alert systems are offered, and how much you can anticipate to spend for the service.
What Equipment Is Required?
The most fundamental medical alert systems use a landline telephone connection and include a base system and a portable help button. They are incredibly easy to set up; merely plug the unit into your phone jack using the consisted of phone cable, and plug your phone into the secondary jack on the system. Plug in the power cable and wait a couple of seconds while the system launches, and when the LED sign turns green, you are great to go. It’s a good idea (and motivated by suppliers) to run a test by pressing the assistance button on the base system to make certain everything is working. When you are linked to an agent, merely tell him/her that you are performing a test. They will validate your name and ensure everything is OK.
The base system looks rather like a speakerphone and in fact pulls double task as one, but its primary function is to link you to a live emergency reaction representative without having to pick up a phone. It has a plainly marked aid or emergency button, which is usually (but not always) colored red and is the largest, most easy-to-reach button on the system. It also has a speaker and an ingrained microphone for two-way hands-free interaction, an LED status indication, and a reset button that can offer numerous functions depending on the system.
On some systems pushing the reset button will completely cancel the call to the action center, while on other systems it will silence the beeping alarm but won’t cancel the call, which suggests you’ll still have to speak with a representative to inform them that everything is OK. It may also be used by emergency responders to let the response center understand that help has actually gotten here. Make certain your base unit has a built-in battery backup that will permit it to run in the event of a power interruption.
The portable assistance button can be used as a pendant necklace or on your wrist like a watch. It is designed for use inside and around the home, although there are mobile buttons with embedded GPS innovation available that you can take a trip with. If you are in your home or in your yard and need assistance, simply press the pendant/wristband button to start a call to the action center. If you can’t get close enough to the base system to respond to the agent, the representative will attempt calling individuals on your contact list before calling 911.
Portable assistance buttons are often waterproof and can be used in the shower, and they can communicate with the base system at distances as much as 1,500 feet. You must test your assistance pendant by pushing the button from numerous locations in your house and yard so you’ll understand what type of variety to anticipate.
A fall-detection pendant does whatever that a routine help button pendant does, but has built-in sensing units that can identify if you’ve taken a spill, at which point it will start a call to the action center. They typically need an extra month-to-month charge.
In-Home vs. Mobile Medical Alert Systems
In-home systems are perfect for individuals who seldom leave your home, but if you maintain an active lifestyle, consider a mobile medical alert system. Mobile systems choose you when you leave your house, and use GPS innovation to determine your exact place and cellular technology to link you to a response center. We list both at home and mobile systems in the chart above.
Mobile models are typically a bit larger and heavier than a standard portable aid button, but are still small sufficient to be worn conveniently as a pendant. They consist of an aid button that initiates a call to the reaction center, and a speaker and microphone for two-way communication. Mobile pendants are powered by rechargeable batteries and can be bought with a fall-detection sensing unit for an additional month-to-month fee.
If you don’t have a landline or merely do not want to use it for a medical alert system, you can purchase a base unit with built-in cellular circuitry, but memberships for these systems typically cost more than landline systems. You do not need to sign up for a cellular company, as that cost that is built into your membership and managed by the medical alert provider. Similar to landline systems, cellular systems are extremely simple to install; just plug them in, wait on the LED light to radiance green, and test out the system as pointed out above.
There are even specialized mobile systems, such as the Bay Alarm Medical Splitsecnd In-Car Medical Alert. It plugs into your car to offer you one-touch access to a live emergency reaction representative. It also has crash detection and GPS so emergency situation responders can locate you even if you’re unable to tell them where you are.
How Medical Alert Systems Work
To call for assistance, just push the assistance button on the base unit or your wearable device. The base system will instantly dial up the response center related to your medical alert service provider, at which point you’ll hear a series of loud beeps while the system attempts to connect with the reaction center. After around 20 to 40 seconds, a live representative will answer the call and ask if whatever is alright. The base system functions as a hands-free speakerphone so all you have to do is inform the agent what your scenario is and request assistance, or let them know that you are simply evaluating your system or pressed a button by mistake.
If you ask for assistance, the representative will call 911 and have an emergency responder dispatched to your address. If you are not able to respond to, the agent will start calling the numbers on your contact list, which is normally submitted on a mail-in kind or online. If the agent can’t reach anyone on the list, they will then contact 911. Lots of services request that you consist of medical details when you fill out the initial contact type, including things like existing conditions, medications, doctor contacts, and allergies. This information goes into your personal database and is relayed to emergency situation responders.
What Are the Monthly Fees for Medical Alert Systems?
A lot of medical alert systems offer no-contract monthly subscriptions, however there are some that need a multi-year dedication. A landline-based at home system can range in price from around $25 approximately $35 monthly, and consists of whatever you need to get up and running in minutes. Cellular at home subscriptions are a bit more costly; anticipate to pay anywhere from $35 to $45 monthly. Mobile systems can run as high as $65 to $75 dollars per month, and some services might need a one-time mobile device fee of approximately $150 upfront. Regardless of the type of system you require, search for a company that provides a discount rate for devoting to a quarterly or yearly payment strategy.
Many medical alert services will not charge additional for keeping track of for a partner, but for the most part you’ll need to pay an extra monthly charge for a 2nd help pendant. Some services likewise provide day-to-day wellness checks where a representative will contact at a defined time to make sure whatever is OKAY and remind you to take your medications.
If you live in a large home with great deals of backyard property, you may want to look into a service that uses a long-range pendant. Wireless wall-mounted assistance buttons are another common accessory that you can place around your home to broaden protection.
Finally, consider utilizing a lockbox accessory that you hold on your outer doorknob. The box has a compartment where you stow away a house key and is opened using a mix. When help is dispatched, the action center gives the mix to the emergency situation responders, enabling them to enter your home using the essential instead of breaking down the door if you are unable to open it for them.
Best Medical Alert Systems Featured in This Roundup:
Bay Alarm Medical In-Home Medical Alert
Pros: Easy to set up. Quick action. Long-range help pendant. Free lockbox.
Cons: Additional partner pendant expenses extra. Little reset button.
Bottom Line: Bay Alarm Medical’s In-Home Medical Alert system is simple to install and uses speedy response times, loud and clear hands-free interactions, and great pendant range.
Bay Alarm Medical Splitsecnd In-Car Medical Alert
Pros: Easy to install and use. Web and mobile tracking app. Uses GPS, cellular, and crash detection technologies. Quick response times.
Cons: Pricey. Weak audio.
Bottom Line: The Bay Alarm Medical Splitsecnd In-Car Medical Alert plugs into your car to give you one-touch access to a live emergency reaction representative. It also has crash detection and GPS so emergency situation responders can find you even if you’re not able to tell them where you are.
GreatCall Lively Mobile
Pros: Speedy reaction times in screening. Solid two-way audio. Highly portable. Mobile app and urgent care services offered.
Cons: Tracking app needs more expensive plan. Limited battery life.
Bottom Line: GreatCall’s Lively Mobile medical alert button goes everywhere you go and links you to a live emergency agent in a matter of seconds.
Pros: Quick reaction times. Easy to set up. Status LCD. Big, colorful buttons. Medical reminder services readily available. Free web and mobile apps.
Cons: Can’t dim backlit buttons.
Bottom Line: The MobileHelp Classic is an extensive in-home medical alert system that uses cellular innovation to link you to a 24/7 emergency situation action center with the press of a button.
LifeFone At Home Landline Medical Alert System
Pros: Simple setup. Free partner pendant. Daily health calls and medicine reminder services available. Loud two-way audio.
Cons: Pendant has actually restricted outside range.
Bottom Line: The LifeFone At Home Landline is an user-friendly medical alert system that uses a handful of helpful services and delivers loud two-way hands-free interactions with the reaction center, but its portable aid button revealed minimal variety in our tests.
Medical Guardian Freedom Guardian
Pros: Fast reaction times in testing. GPS and Wi-Fi tracking. Messaging and calendar signals. Mobile and web companion apps.
Cons: No fall detection. Expensive subscription costs.
Bottom Line: The Medical Guardian Freedom Guardian smartwatch has a dedicated Help button and deals with mobile and web apps that enable family and caretakers to monitor your location and send out text and calendar tips.
Philips Lifeline GoSafe 2
Pros: Clean audio quality. Great response times. Uses multiple finding innovations. Price consists of fall detection.
Cons: Pricey. No tracking website or mobile app. No additional customer service.
Bottom Line: The Philips Lifeline GoSafe 2 is a portable medical alert system that uses several locating innovations, consisting of Wi-Fi, GPS, and audio beaconing, to determine your place.
Bay Alarm Medical Mobile GPS Help Button
Pros: Small and lightweight. Good two-way audio. Great response times in screening.
Cons: Pricey. No mobile app. Middling reaction times.
Bottom Line: The Bay Alarm Medical Mobile GPS Help Button is a highly portable mobile medical alert system that offers great emergency situation reaction times, GPS tracking, and crystal clear audio communication, but lacks a mobile GPS tracking app.
LifeStation At Home Medical Alert
Pros: Easy installation. Tidy two-way audio. Excellent reaction time.
Cons: Smallish aid button. Portable assistance button range might be longer.
Bottom Line: The LifeStation At Home is a moderately priced medical alert system that links you to an emergency situation reaction center with the touch of a button. It provided good response times in our tests, however its variety might be better.
LifeStation Premium Mobile
Pros: Long battery life. Clear two-way audio. Good action times.
Cons: Lacks tracking app. No extra services.
Bottom Line: The LifeStation Premium Mobile is a portable medical alert device that has five-day battery life and supplies fairly good reaction times with tidy two-way audio.
Last updated on September 16th, 2019