Best Medical Alert System for 2022 (Reviews & Buyer’s Guide)

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Emergency response systems are a quick and simple way to get access to help wherever and whenever you need it. But how do you choose the best medical alert system for your needs? We’re here to help! We dedicated hours of research searching for the most reliable, practical, and affordable devices on the market. We also included a detailed guide to help you make an informed decision. Let’s get started!

A Brief Overview of Our Selection

Key Features
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  • Certified monitoring centers
  • Sleek and sophisticated design
  • Free caregiver platform
  • Automatic fall detection available
FROM: $ 29.95
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  • 100% lifetime warranty on equipment
  • Free-of-charge spouse coverage
  • Locked-in subscription rates
  • Unlimited number of contacts
FROM: $ 24.95
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  • Fastest response times
  • Access to services via smartphones
  • Small and lightweight design
  • Discounts with AARP membership
FROM: $ 19.99
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  • Large at-home range
  • 240 languages supported
  • App for activity and location tracking
  • FDA compliant & FCC certified
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  • An abundance of additional features
  • Nationwide coverage
  • Certified monitoring centers
  • Flexible payment options
FROM: $ 19.00
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  • In-home temperature monitoring
  • Locked-in monthly rates
  • Lifetime warranty
  • Two-way talk with ATD
FROM: $ 29.99
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Medical Alert System Reviewed

Medical Guardian

  • Connectivity: Landline, cellular
  • Average response time: 8 seconds
  • Base unit coverage: 500–1,400 ft
  • Battery life: 32hrs–5 days
  • Monitoring center location: US
  • Payment plan options: Monthly, quarterly, or annual
  • Cancellations: Cancellation fees may apply
  • Price: $29.95–$44.95
  • Return policy: 30 days

Offering a total of five systems, this US-based provider has something for everyone. The company has two products available in the at-home category:

Classic Guardian

The Classic Guardian is the provider’s most traditional, landline-operated device. It comes with a base unit enabling clear, two-way communication with the monitoring center, as well as a lightweight, waterproof wearable device. Subscribers can choose between a help pendant and bracelet. The device boasts an impressive 1,400 feet of coverage from the base station, meaning you’re protected within and around the house at all times.

Home Guardian

This device, on the other hand, uses a cellular network to connect to the company’s monitoring centers. It offers the same benefits as the Classic Guardian, with the added system status you can check on the MyGuardian Portal.

Apart from providing top-notch home systems, Medical Guardian makes it easy for customers to stay safe on the go with its wide range of portable devices:

Mobile 2.0

This is a two-piece senior monitoring system, which works both as an in-home and mobile device. It consists of a portable unit with a two-way speaker and GPS tracking, plus a wearable emergency button that works up to 500 feet from the mobile unit.

Mini Guardian

Mini Guardian is small, sleek, and will keep you protected while you’re out and about. Its battery lasts for up to five days and you can purchase add-ons such as fall detection and on-guard notifications.

Active Guardian

The Active Guardian works very much like the Mini, except it’s a bit larger in size and has a three-day lasting battery. Just like the Mini, it’s also water-resistant, offers GPS location tracking, and purchasing add-ons.

All Medical Guardian’s mobile alert systems use the most reliable 4G LTE network, GPS, and WiFi tracking to determine your location within minutes, providing 24-hour protection no matter where you are. But it’s not just about the devices. Medical Guardian has plenty of extra features, including one of the most reliable fall alert systems, wall buttons, lockboxes, and protection plans, although they aren’t compatible with all systems.

  • No long-term contracts
  • Substantial coverage from the base unit
  • Five systems available
  • Stellar customer service
  • Restocking fees may apply when you cancel
  • No trial period


  • Connectivity: Landline, cellular
  • Average response time: 25 seconds
  • Base unit coverage: 600–1,400 ft
  • Battery life: 16hrs–30 days
  • Monitoring center location: US (New York and California)
  • Payment plan options: Monthly, quarterly, or annual
  • Cancellations: Free
  • Price: $24.95–$41.95
  • Return policy: 30 days

LifeFone has been providing some of the most reliable, comprehensive, and trusted emergency response systems since 1976. With its selection of five high-quality systems, this company has a device to suit any user’s needs.

At-Home Landline

The At-Home Landline comes with all the essentials and plenty of extra features:

  • A base station equipped with a loud two-way speaker, a highly sensitive microphone, and a large emergency button with Braille lettering in the middle.
  • A waterproof help button (available as a pendant or bracelet).
  • 1,300 feet of coverage from the base unit.
  • A 32-hour battery backup in case of power outages.
  • Personalized emergency notification plans, which you can change at any time—you can even add your spouse to the basic plan free of charge.
  • Lifetime warranty on all equipment.

At-Home Cellular

The At-Home Cellular system is equipped with the same features, but uses AT&T’s cellular network instead of a classic phone line.

At-Home & On-the-Go

For active people who don’t want to lose the security of a home system, LifeFone offers a combo of both. With the company’s At-Home & On-the-Go system, you get a mobile device and a base station, GPS tracking and 600-1,400 feet of coverage from the base unit.

At-Home & On-the-Go VIP

If you want to go fully mobile, you can opt for the portable pendant, an all-in-one solution that can protect you both at home and on the move. It may not have an optional fall detection, but its battery can survive up to 30 days.

At-Home & On-the-Go VIPX

The smallest, lightest, and most advanced of LifeFone’s on-the-go devices, the VIPX offers the same as the original At-Home & On-the-Go with unlimited coverage range and optional fall detection.

LifeFone also has the biggest offering of optional upgrades and accessories, including:

  • A wall-mounted and hanging lockbox
  • Daily check-in calls
  • Medication reminder
  • Mobile apps—for individuals and families
  • 24/7 protection against fire, smoke, and carbon monoxide
  • A wall-mounted medical alert button
  • A protection plan providing free replacement of any defective equipment

It’s not just the devices that are extraordinary—the company is also flexible, dependable, and transparent. Unlike other providers that tend to outsource their monitoring services, LifeFone owns and operates its US-based call centers. This way, the company ensures fast, reliable, and uninterrupted access to trained and caring staff.

  • 24/7 US-based call center
  • No hidden costs
  • A+ rating with the BBB
  • Easy to install, and setup videos available
  • Mobile unit is not waterproof
  • Fall detection is only 95% accurate


  • Connectivity: Cellular
  • Average response time: 13 seconds
  • Base unit coverage: Unlimited
  • Battery life: 80hrs–4 months
  • Monitoring center location: US (California and Nevada)
  • Payment plan options: Monthly
  • Cancellations: Free
  • Price: $19.99–$49.99
  • Return policy: 30 days

GreatCall does things a bit differently than the other providers as it doesn’t have an in-home system, but offers cutting-edge mobile solutions and smartphones that will protect seniors both at home and on the go. The company has two medical alert systems and two phones available.

Lively Mobile+

This is an all-in-one, portable alert solution that offers 24/7 protection anywhere you go. It has a one-button design that immediately connects you to GreatCall’s Urgent Response Center. An IAED-certified agent will then confirm your location, assess the situation, and provide you the help you need, whether you’re having a medical emergency or you need roadside assistance.

One standout feature of this system—and other GreatCall devices—is exceptional audio quality, making this a good solution for hearing impaired users. Another is the unbelievably fast response times. Most of the calls are answered in under 15 seconds, while enhanced GPS tracking is used to determine your precise location, adding up to a quick response and overall superior service.

Lively Wearable2

If you already own a smartphone, you can take advantage of the new Lively Wearable2 medical device. This smartwatch-like device pairs with the Lively app on your phone, connecting you to GreatCall’s response centers with the push of a button. It also includes other useful features, such as fall detection and urgent care feature, step counter, and daily health tips.

GreatCall Smartphones

Besides these revolutionary emergency response systems, GreatCall also offers smartphones with incorporated alert technology, i.e., a 5Star App or an emergency button that instantly puts you through to its response centers.

You can choose from two phones:

  • The Jitterbug Smart2, dubbed the simplest smartphone, features a large screen, built-in camera, and mobile internet. Also included is the 5Star App to use in case of emergencies.
  • The Lively Flip comes equipped with an Urgent Response button that connects you to an emergency response agent, a powerful speaker, and Amazon Alexa integration. This allows you to use your voice to make calls, text, get medication reminders, and more.

With fast response times, an innovative design, unique features, and excellent service, GreatCall’s selection of medical and life alert systems is certainly worth trying.

  • Faster way to reach help
  • Unique features and services
  • No long-term contracts
  • Keeps you connected and protected
  • There’s an activation fee
  • There’s an activation fee


  • Connectivity: Landline, cellular
  • Average response time: 17–25 seconds
  • Base unit coverage: 600–1,400 ft
  • Battery life: N/A
  • Monitoring center location: US (New York and California)
  • Payment plan options: Monthly, quarterly, semi-annual, or annual
  • Cancellations: Free
  • Price: $99.95-$54.95
  • Return policy: 30 days

MobileHelp provides the latest in emergency monitoring while still offering classic and comprehensive devices. They offer both at-home and on-the-go protection, as well as a combination of both.

At-Home Devices

MobileHelp offers three simple devices for monitoring your health and providing help for a safer and smarter life.


The most basic system, the MobileHelp Classic, is equipped with a base unit with an extended 1,400 feet of coverage, waterproof help button, and an optional fall detection button.

Wired Home

The only MobileHelp’s device that operates on a landline, Wired Home has all the essentials of a classic in-home system, offering 24/7 protection for up to 600 feet from the base unit.

Touch Classic

The Touch Classic combines all the features of an emergency response system packed in a sleek tablet. Besides the easy-to-read screen, the device also offers a rotating photo gallery, and cognitive games, such as Sudoku. Moreover, you can also add an automatic Fall Button.

On-the-Go Devices

For seniors on the go, the company offers two incredibly simple-to-use, sleek devices.


This set includes a mobile unit and a wearable help button—the perfect system for security on the go. It also features GPS tracking, remote activation, and a two-way speaker.


Micro is the smallest and lightest MobileHelp’s emergency alert device. Weighing only 52 grams, the waterproof Micro comes with a detachable lanyard, fast wireless data transmission, and loud and clear voice guidance.

Complete Protection

To stay safe at home and on-the-go, MobileHelp offers three handy and simple-to-use devices.


Consisting of two of the mobile devices available in the Solo package, this set provides inexpensive portable protection for you and your spouse or roommate.

Mobile Duo

MobileHelp Duo is the ultimate bundle for complete protection no matter where you are. Combining the Classic and Solo packages, this is the most comprehensive emergency alert system for older adults with an active lifestyle.

Touch Duo

Ideal for seniors interested in the latest technology, MobileHelp Touch includes a mobile unit, a help button, a fall detection device, and a tablet serving as a connection hub to monitor your health and medication schedule.

  • FDA-registered and FCC certified
  • Dedicated personal consultants
  • Combo of at-home and on-the-go devices
  • A tablet for seniors interested in tech
  • The Fall Button isn’t compatible with all systems
  • Activation fees apply to some plans


  • Connectivity: Landline
  • Average response time: 20–45 seconds
  • Base unit coverage: 400–600 ft
  • Battery life: 24hrs–30 days
  • Monitoring center location: US (Pennsylvania)
  • Payment plan options: Monthly, every ten months
  • Cancellations: Free
  • Price: $19.00–$49.00
  • Return policy: 30 days

Alert1 offers a variety of trusted medical alert services and devices to meet every senior’s needs. Its product line consists of three systems: a home system, a mobile device, and a bundle of both with added fall detection.

In-the-Home Medical Alert

Alert1’s In-the-Home system comes with:

  • A base unit (equipped with a two-way speaker and microphone)
  • A showerproof help button that works up to 600 feet from the stationary unit

Operating through a landline, the system connects you to one of the company’s US-based monitoring centers when you press the help button. Once you’re connected to a live operator, they will assist you based on the emergency plan you’ve set up beforehand.

In-the-Home + Fall Detection

Offering the same options as the original In-the-Home system, and a bit smaller range of 400 ft, this option is excellent if you think you need fall detection. Besides the showerproof button, you’ll also get a complimentary wristband.

On-the-Go Medical Alert

Don’t have a landline or internet connection? Not a problem! Alert1 also has an On-the-Go package with built-in location tracking, a loud speaker, a microphone, and a battery life of a whopping 30 days.

On-the-Go with GPS and Fall Detection

If you want to feel even safer, go for the On-the-Go with built-in GPS tracking that pinpoints your precise location and fall detection. You can carry it as a pendant, on your belt, or even in the pocket.

On-the-Go Wrist Watch + GPS + Pedometer

If you’re a very active senior and don’t want to choose between a stylish watch and an emergency alert system, then this is the device for you. The discreet design resembles a regular watch, but the device will help you in times of need, all while counting your steps and showing you the weather forecast.

On-the-Go + In-the-Home + Fall Detection

You can also opt for the all-in-one bundle deal. This comprehensive package includes the mobile device, the in-the-home alert system, and fall detection. Combining all the products into one convenient package, you get extra security, protection, and peace of mind both in and outside the house.

  • A wide selection of upgrades
  • Assistance in 190 languages
  • Zero equipment fees
  • Low-battery detection warning
  • Only a limited warranty for defective devices
  • Limited range for fall detection pendant

ADT Medical Alert

  • Connectivity: Landline, cellular
  • Average response time: About 20 seconds
  • Base unit coverage: 300–600 ft
  • Nattery life: N/A
  • Monitoring center location: US
  • Payment plan options: Monthly, quarterly, or annual
  • Cancellations: Free
  • Price: $29.99–$39.99
  • Return policy: Six months

As a company that has spent the last 140 years making sure people are safe and protected, ADT offers some of the most reliable medical alert systems for seniors. The company’s Health & Senior Safety product line may not be particularly diverse, but seniors are sure to find a system to suit their lifestyles and needs from its three available products.

Basic System

Do you spend most of your time in the house and have a standard landline connection? Then you would benefit the most from ADT’s Basic system. This system provides all the essentials, starting from a base unit with a two-way connection to the company’s operators to a help button in the form of a waterproof necklace or wristband.

The base unit only covers a distance of 300 feet, which may not seem like a lot, but it’s typically enough to keep you protected inside the house and around the yard. The device also offers home temperature monitoring, which isn’t considered a life-saving feature, but it’s useful, nonetheless.

Plus System

If you want more freedom in your movements, try the Plus system. The base unit covers twice the distance as the Basic device, i.e., 600 feet. It also shows time, temperature, and battery and signal levels on a clear LED display. Furthermore, it also offers fall detection.

On-the-Go System

ADT has a device for seniors who prefer an active lifestyle, as well. This system is a portable unit with built-in GPS tracking that will keep you safe wherever you go. For added security, you should consider adding fall detection to the package.

  • Fast response times
  • Live chat available
  • Home temperature monitoring
  • Lifetime warranty
  • Little coverage from base unit
  • No mobile phone app

Finding the Right Medical Alert System for You

What exactly is a medical alert system, and what does it do? Do you really need one? And how do you choose one from so many available options? Our detailed guide will answer these questions and more!

What Are Medical Alert Systems?

Medical alert systems are devices—usually consisting of a base unit and a wearable element—that provide seniors with help in the event of a fall or medical emergency. During an emergency, press the help button on the bracelet or pendant, and you’ll be connected to a trained operator who will get you the help you need as quickly as possible.

These operators are available 24/7 and have all your info, including your medical history, your allergies, and any treatments or medications you might be on. They will evaluate the situation and decide on the proper course of action.

Let’s say you’ve taken a slip and just need some help getting up. In this case, the operator will contact a neighbor, friend, or family member to come and help you out. They will also stay on the line with you until help arrives.

How Are Medical Alert Devices Different From Calling 911?

Let’s look at the same situation mentioned above.

When you call 911, the dispatcher will immediately send an EMS unit to your address regardless of the severity of your injury or condition. After dispatching a unit to your house, they will end the call and tend to other emergencies and callers. The EMS unit will most likely have to break down the door, causing considerable damage to your property in the process, which in this situation would be completely unnecessary.

With a medical alert system, an EMS unit is sent only if absolutely necessary—for instance, if you’re unresponsive or the operator can’t reach anyone on your emergency list. Moreover, most of these emergency alert systems come with plenty of extra features, from fall detection to location tracking, which you can’t get with a basic cell phone or a call to 911.

Who Should Buy a Medical Alert System?

The main purpose of these systems is to help you when you need it, but they can actually do so much more than that. They provide you with security and the chance to have an independent, active, and stress-free life.

So who can benefit the most from them?

  • Active seniors who enjoy the outdoors and an independent lifestyle would benefit most from a mobile unit, especially the one with GPS tracking.
  • Seniors who want to stay in their current home can age happily in place without the constant presence of a caregiver.
  • Seniors who have dementia, Alzheimer’s, or other age-related cognitive conditions and use emergency alert systems can help caregivers easily locate them if they wander or get lost and disoriented.
  • Seniors with high-risk medical conditions can benefit from even the most basic system. They can prevent serious injury or death, particularly among seniors with heart disease or other high-risk conditions.

Choosing an Emergency Alert System

Here are the most important aspects to consider when buying a medical alert system, whether it’s for you or for someone in your family.

Mobile vs. In-Home Alert Systems 

The first decision you have to make is choosing the type of system. Med alert systems usually fall into two categories: home-based and mobile.

Home medical alert systems consist of a stationary base and a wearable device. The base unit has a speaker and microphone for easy, two-way, hands-free communication with a dispatcher at the monitoring center. The wearable device, on the other hand, is a small help button that you can wear around your neck or wrist. These devices are usually lightweight, waterproof, and can communicate with the base unit within distances of up to 1,400 feet. This means you’re covered even if you’re taking a stroll in the backyard or live in a larger home.

An in-home alert system uses a landline telephone connection but can work with a cellular connection as well. For most older adults, a classic in-home system is a good way to go. It’s reliable, the connection is clear, and the device is always on because you don’t need to charge it. However, if you’re an active senior, investing in a mobile system is something to consider.

Mobile alert systems come with many advantages. They’re portable, so you can use them anywhere with good cellular coverage. Plus, they have GPS tracking, allowing medical services or a caregiver to pinpoint your exact location. The only downside to mobile systems is that you have to charge the devices. Some of these systems are equipped with an alarm reminding you that your battery needs charging, making this process easier for forgetful users.

Some users also report that mobile devices are bulkier than pendants or bracelets. However, thanks to advances in technology, there are now lighter and smaller mobile units that can fit in your purse or pocket or be clipped on your belt.

For seniors who can’t decide between the two, there are dual systems that combine at-home and mobile devices for full protection.

Find a Reliable Company

The next step is finding a trustworthy company. When looking for a reliable manufacturer, consider:

  • Transparency: Does the company post all its fees on the site? Do its sales representatives give clear answers to all your questions? Does its website include both positive and negative comments by customers? If the answers to any of these questions are no, then you’re likely dealing with a shady company.
  • Reputation: Look at customer reviews and the Better Business Bureau. When it comes to medical alert systems, ratings like these offer a better understanding of the company so you can decide whether it’s trustworthy or not. It’s also a good idea to look for certifications—such as TMA’s Five Diamond certification and the Electronic Security Association—to check the company’s dedication to quality and safety.
  • Look at the return policy: Before you buy a medical alert system for yourself or a family member, carefully read the terms and conditions, particularly in the area of refunds and returns. Try to find companies that allow you to return equipment or cancel a subscription or service without additional charges. Steer clear of companies that require you to sign lengthy contracts, and focus on flexible plans instead.
  • Check locations of monitoring centers: Stick to companies with monitoring centers in North America for the fastest access to trained agents. In addition to being located in the US, the company should have trained staff consisting of nurses or medical supervisors who can offer their expertise, especially during high-risk calls.

Comfort and Convenience

For a medical alert system to work properly, it has to be worn at all times. This means the wearable elements or mobile device must be comfortable, light, and waterproof so they can be worn in the shower, where most slips and falls happen.

Extra Features

Advanced medical alert systems come with a wide range of additional features, from intruder alerts to consults with board-certified doctors. Some of the most common and useful features include:

  • Automatic fall detection: This is one of the most common and helpful features of alert systems. Medical alert systems with fall detection have built-in sensors that detect falls and automatically call the dispatch center.

You should remember, though, that this technology isn’t 100% reliable. The device is prone to false alarms and might register a fall even when you’ve only lost your balance or dropped the pendant by accident while you slept. However, if you’re one of the 25% of Americans over 65 who experience falls every year, it might be wise to invest in a fall alert system.

  • Caregiver tracking: Depending on the system, this extra feature can track your location, monitor battery life, and notify your caregiver when you leave a predetermined area, such as your home. The latter feature, known as geofencing, is a handy tool, particularly if you have Alzheimer’s or dementia, as it allows your caregiver to determine your exact location, or at the very least, your last known whereabouts.
  • Medication reminder: Having your base or mobile unit remind you when it’s time to take your medication can be extremely helpful, especially if you live with a chronic condition or have a complex medication schedule.
  • Wall buttons: Wall buttons are battery-powered and can be placed anywhere in the house, including high-risk areas like the bathroom, stairs, or by the bed. This is a great backup solution if you’ve damaged or lost your wearable device or simply don’t feel like wearing it.
  • Lockbox: A safety lockbox is used to store an extra key so that emergency services won’t have to break down the door to enter your home. A simple solution like this can save you a lot of money in terms of damaged property, as well as the hassle of home repairs.

Some Final Tips

  • Whether you have a home-based or mobile system, be sure to check the connection immediately after installation to see if everything is working.
  • It’s a good idea to get a base unit with a built-in battery backup in case of power outages.
  • If English isn’t your first language, look for companies that offer several language options. Some providers support over 200 languages.
  • Consider plans that allow for multiple contacts to be added to your emergency list, just in case.
  • A word of caution for caregivers: If you’re thinking of buying an emergency alert system for your parents, grandparents, or other family members and friends, consider their needs. A senior alert system isn’t a gift, so make sure you discuss the purchase beforehand.

Final Thoughts 

Medical alert systems are the ideal solution for older adults who want to age in place, preserve their independence, and continue to lead active lives. They’re also an excellent tool for caregivers, providing them with security and peace of mind regarding their loved ones’ health and well-being.


How do medical alert systems work?

Medical alert systems are incredibly easy to operate. 

  1. In a medical emergency, push the button on the bracelet, pendant, or mobile unit. 
  2. Once you press the button, a call is sent to the response center.
  3. The call is answered by trained operators who will do everything they can to help you, from summoning your family or friends to calling 911, if necessary. 

Does Medicare cover medical alert systems?

Medicare doesn’t usually cover medical alert systems. However, some seniors may receive coverage under Medicare Part C if they can prove that the system is medically necessary. Check your insurance plan to see if you’re covered or not.

Does AARP recommend a medical alert system?

Even though AARP (the American Association of Retired Persons) highly recommends the use of medical alert systems, it doesn’t endorse a particular system. 

What is the best medical alert system?

Each of the systems listed above meets all the criteria of a high-quality, functional, and safe system. However, to find the perfect one for you, you need to consider your individual needs. Decide what kind of device would benefit you the most and then look for one that matches your requirements and lifestyle.