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Are Medical Alert Systems Reliable?

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Medical alert systems provide the safety peace of mind that emergency assistance is readily available for someone elderly or sick. Aging adults and their families often rely on medical alert systems to allow for a greater period of independent living without worry.

Medical Alert System by Medical GuardianMedical alert equipment is typically worn around the wrist or neck. With the click of a button, the person wearing the device can immediately summon an operator, who can determine the need for emergency assistance. Some systems are even savvy enough to detect if a fall has occurred and confirm with the customer before sending for emergency services.

Several providers offer medical alert services and an easy, online order process. Others, however, provide little to no information up front, and require that you speak to a fast talking salesman who may try to get you to spend more than you need.

To choose the right medical alert company it's important to compare each of them to find the one that best meets your needs. Important factors to consider are:

  • Ordering Process. Are you able to order your medical alert service entirely online, or does a salesman have to get involved?
  • Cancellation Policy. Many consumers complain about deceptive sales practices and have regretted choosing long term contracts. Does the medical alert service contract allow you to cancel the agreement at any time should the service and equipment no longer be needed?
  • Monthly Service Charges. What is the monthly charge for 24 hour medical alert service monitoring?
  • Equipment Costs. Is the cost of the medical alert unit included in the monthly service charge, or is the equipment separate and in addition to those fees? has reviewed and ranked the best medical alert systems available today. We hope these reviews help you find the best medical alert service for you or your loved one!

Disclosure: We pay our reviewers and we are compensated for our reviews. Click here for details.

Medical Alert System Reviews

5 stars
Medical Guardian

MEDICAL Best-In-Class Blue Ribbon Award

Medical Guardian has been in the business of providing medical alert systems for over 30 years. They offer a variety of plans with no long contracts or hidden activation fees. We liked the easy setup of their systems, along with their straightforward, affordable pricing. They've earned our highest rating.
Read More... Visit

4.5 stars
Bay Alarm Medical


Bay Alarm Medical is a family owned business that started in 1946. This company provides top notch medical alert equipment as well as flexibility in products and payment terms to meet just about anyone's needs. Two USA based monitor areas service customers 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. There are no upfront fees, installation costs, or contracts.
Read More... Visit

4.5 stars
Life Station


Life Station offers a comprehensive medical alert system that should meet anyone's needs. They have no surprise fees, no long contracts, and no heavy sales pitches to suffer through. They've maintained an A+ rating with the Better Business Bureau, and have thousands of satisfied customers. If you're considering a medical alert system for yourself or your loved one, Life Station is an excellent choice.
Read More... Visit

4 stars
Life Fone


Life Fone provides a very customer friendly medical alert service and solid technology in their product. Pricing was affordable but the checkout process was a little confusing. Overall, Life Fone is a strong choice. Read More... Visit

4 stars
Philips Lifeline


Philips Lifeline brings 40 years of experience to the table with their medical alert system. The fall detection and automatic response technology on the advanced model is a great option for those that are at risk for an accident at home. Philips Lifeline also comes with no long-term contracts and no landline requirements. Read More... Visit

3.5 stars
Med Scope


MedScope is priced a little higher but we liked their straightforward approach to providing medical alert services. They spend significant time training their staff and their focus is the customer. If you're willing to pay a little more, MedScope is worth another look. Read More... Visit

2.5 stars
Life Alert


Life Alert provides a heavy sales pitch, up front fees, a 3 year contract and a website lacking professionalism and information. While Life Alert is well known we recommend you choose a higher ranked provider that is more customer oriented. Read More... Visit

2.5 stars
Response Link


Response Link was hard to get excited about. We didn't like the distributorship concept, the sales pitch, the lack of solid information on the website, and the price. For a strong, dependable medical alert company we recommend you choose a higher ranked provided. Read More... Visit

How to Choose a Medical Alert System

Each year many sick and elderly people encounter accidents and health issues that needlessly take their lives. Medical alert systems can make all the difference in the world for those living alone and in distress. In an emergency, medical alert units create a direct line of communication to needed assistance. If a person falls or becomes ill they simply press a button on a pendant or wrist transmitter to gain the attention of an emergency specialist. That person will immediately call the authorities to send help if needed. The fear of a loved one waiting hours or even days for assistance is no longer an issue with a medical alert system available.

If this is your first medical alert system purchase you may be looking for help with choosing the right device. Making a well informed decision will ensure you get the most for your money and are satisfied with the end result.

There are several important elements to consider when choosing a medical alert system. Some of these include:

Not all equipment is created equal. The medical alert button needs to be easy to wear and use. Some may want a unit that's water proof and sturdy to handle showers. If hearing is an issue you'll want a unit that is easy to adjust and has adequate volume options. Knowing the size of the home and how far the transmitter will reach is also important. You'll want UL tested equipment with a good history. Look for products with a battery back-up should the power go out. Also look to see how often batteries need to be replaced. Some batteries last a few months while others last for years. Ask about installation and if a professional is required and how much that will cost.

If something happens to the equipment you'll want to make sure it comes with a guarantee. Preferably, the company will replace any broken equipment at no cost. Also look for a company that regularly tests the in home system for good working . Are extended customer support hours available should an issue or question come up about the equipment.

Monitoring Center
In the event of an emergency you'll want a company that provides fast, top notch service. A monitoring company that utilizes its own employees, and doesn't outsource, will most likely provide the best overall service. One that is accountable and well staffed. Does the monitoring company have back-up power, during outages, and are they UL certified?

Cost and Contracts
All medical alert companies price their equipment and monthly monitoring fees differently. Some will sell you the equipment and then charge a monthly fee while others will allow you to rent the equipment and including the monitoring costs in the monthly charges. Some require a several year contract while others are more flexible. If you decide to cancel the contract early you may encounter an early termination fee. Make sure you understand any fees associated with a medical alert system you're considering.




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