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ADT vs Alert 1

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ADT

ADT has been a frontrunner in home security for many years, so it shouldn't come as a surprise that they carry a line of medical alert systems as well. As an A+ rated company with the Better Business Bureau, ADT has a good reputation.

Unlike their security systems, ADT does not require you to call or email for a quote in order to find out what their medical alert services cost - and we like that. They carry three basic systems:

  • Medical Alert Basic: for $29.99 per month, you'll get the standard base unit and help button combo. The button can be worn as a pendant or on a wristband. The expected range is approximately 300 feet between the base and the help button, and you need a landline for the system to operate. ADT adds a unique temperature monitoring feature with this system, which will alert the 24/7 monitoring center if it detects room temperatures of extreme cold or heat.
  • Medical Alert Plus: for $35.99/month, you can get a system that does not require a landline and that includes optional fall detection ($10/month extra). This system has an extended range of 600 feet and also has the temperature-sensing feature. It connects using AT&T's wireless network, so be sure to check their coverage in your area.
  • On-the-Go Emergency Response System: for $39.99/month, this system gives you the ability to access help wherever you go, through a mobile unit with a built-in speaker. This system also has a pendant, but it can only be used within a 100-foot range of the mobile unit. This system does not include temperature monitoring, but you can get the fall detection pendant and service for the additional $10/month.

We were frustrated as we tried to sort through ADT's pricing. For example, looking at the main pricing page for the On-the-Go system, it says that it costs $39.99/month. But, when we clicked on the "Buy Now" button, it gave us a quote of $37.99/month. The fine print also said "There is one-time charge per accessory. The first standard pendant or wristband is $5 per month." So, is it a one-time charge or a monthly charge? Despite the confusing wording, on our final order page we were only charged the $37.99 per month, with no extra monthly fees.

ADT also has no satisfaction guarantee. This may be because they don't require a long-term contract. We noticed that they said they offer discounted rates for paying quarterly or annually, but we weren't given that option at any point during the ordering process.

Despite these quirks, ADT is still worth considering for your medical alert system: if for no other reason than the fact that they are backed by one of the biggest names in home security.

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ALERT 1

Alert1 is based in Pennsylvania and is a partner brand of ResponseLINK - sharing a BBB listing and offering much of the same equipment. However, Alert1 seems to be the more modern version of the two, offering a total of 5 service options compared with just 2-3 sold by ResponseLINK:

  • Home: starting at $19.95/month for semi-annual and annual payment plans (or $25.95/month for quarterly plans), this system requires a landline to connect the base to the 24/7 monitoring center. A waterproof pendant-style or wristwatch button is used to communicate with the base, and it has a range of 600 feet.
  • Fall Detection: starting at $30.95 for 6- and 12-month prepayment plans (and $36.95/month for quarterly plans), this plan adds automatic fall detection and does not require a landline for service. However, this plan only supports a range of 400 feet from the panic button to the base. The button can be either a pendant or wristwatch-style device.
  • On-the-Go: this system is also priced at $30.95 (6- and 12-month plans) or $36.95 (3-month plans). This medical alert service uses a pendant-style device that looks something like a pager, and it connects the wearer to the monitoring center via T-Mobile or AT&T mobile networks. It does not include GPS technology or fall detection.
  • Mobile + Fall Detection: this service plan costs $41.95/month on semi-annual and annual payment plans, and $47.95/month when paid quarterly. It includes GPS, Wi-Fi, and cellular coverage (via AT&T's network) to locate the user if the button is pushed or a fall is detected. The system uses the same pendant-style device as the On-the-Go plan.
  • Home + Mobile + Fall Detection: Alert1's top-tier plan costs $52.95/month for 6- and 12-month payment plans, and $58.95/month for 3-month plans. The system is controlled either by a pendant (home or mobile use) or wristband (home use only).

All plans can include a second user for a discounted price; on some plans it is only just $5 more per month. Each plan includes unlimited button-pushes and talk time; we thought it was interesting that Alert1 says that their system can be used even if someone just feels like having a conversation.

Also, Alert1 does not require a long-term commitment or charge equipment fees for any of their medical alert systems. They do offer a 30-day money-back guarantee, but only on plans that are prepaid in 6- or 12-month installments. In other words, if you select the shortest term, quarterly, and aren't happy with your service, you will not get any money back if you cancel. We found many customer reports that Alert1 does not make it easy to take advantage of that satisfaction guarantee, even when a user passes away or the service is no longer needed for some other reason. These complaints are part of the reason that the BBB has downgraded Alert1 / ResponseLINK's rating to an "A" instead of the "A+" they previously held.

We like the greater range of products and services offered by Alert1 when compared with their partner company, but we think most customers will not love the need to pay 6 months in advance just to get a 30-day guarantee - especially when many of their competitors have medical alert systems with more features and less money per month, with no need to prepay in order to have the possibility of a refund.

Alert1 is an improvement over ResponseLINK, but doesn't quite go far enough to put it in the same league as the higher-ranked medical alert systems in our review.

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Best Medical Alert Systems

To help you find the Best Medical Alert Systems, TopConsumerReviews.com provides you with an in-depth comparison of ADT and Alert 1.

Who has the best Medical Alert Systems? As the US population ages, the need for medical alert systems grows. Given the increasing number of seniors who prefer to "age in place" - living in their own home as long as possible, rather than moving to an independent or assisted living facility for the elderly - it is easy to see why a medical alert system could make the difference between life and death.

Medical alert systems give users the ability to rapidly contact emergency services, typically through a button worn on the wrist or as a pendant around the neck. All it takes is a click of that button to get in touch with an operator who will help determine if a call to emergency medical services is needed. For added peace of mind, a number of companies offer equipment that can automatically detect when the wearer has fallen.

There are a wide variety of choices when it comes to medical alert systems: some services that have been on the market for many years, and others that are newer to the industry. When shopping around for the right product for yourself or for a loved one, you may find a straightforward, easy-to-use website that clearly explains your options. On the other hand, some companies still rely on pushy sales tactics that won't give you much information unless you speak with a representative.

As you compare the various medical alert systems currently available, there are several aspects to keep in mind:

TopConsumerReviews.com has reviewed and ranked the best medical alert systems on the market today. We hope these reviews give you the information you need to select the medical alert service that will give you or your loved one extra safety and peace of mind.



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:

Equipment
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.

Warranty
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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$7.9M NIH Grant to Fuel New Center Assisting Medical-Device Entrepreneurs

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