We tested products and talked to a medical professional to whittle down a list of over 70 medical alerts.
8 Best Medical Alert Systems of 2022
Medical alert systems range from in-home landline systems to mobile lanyards to smartwatches. We tested each type of medical alert before naming Bay Alarm Medical one of the best medical alert systems on the market today.
But other medical alert companies like Medical Guardian, Lifeline, and LifeFone excel in niche categories like automatic fall detection, GPS tracking, and affordability. Our reviews decipher the differences so you can choose the best medical alert system for yourself or a loved one.
- Bay Alarm Medical will give you one month free plus free shipping when you order select plans
- GetSafe is currently offering up to 10% off all packages.
- Medical Guardian's sale lands you 33% off top products, one free month of service, a free lockbox, and free ground shipping.
- Aloe Care is offering up to 75% off select packages and a free lockbox with every order.
Info current as of publish date. Offers and availability may vary by location and are subject to change.
Here are the best medical alert systems
- : Best overall
- : Best on the go
- : Most affordable
- : Best fall detection
- : Best at-home system
- : Best basic system
- : Best smart features
- : Best customer policies
Compare the best medical alert systems
Monitoring starts at
|Best overall||$0.00||$24.95/mo.||30-day trial||Five Diamond, FM, UL, ESA||View Packages||Read review||–|
|Best on the go||$149.95||$39.95/mo.||Prorated refund||Five Diamond, FM, UL, ESA||View Packages||Read review||–|
|Most affordable||$79.00+||$27.95/mo.||30-day trial||Five Diamond, FM, UL, ESA||View Packages||Read review||–|
|Best fall detection||$50.00||$44.95/mo.||30-day trial, $50 restocking||Not specified||View Packages||Read review||–|
|Best at-home system||$0.00||$24.95/mo.||30-day trial||Five Diamond, FM, UL||View Packages||Read review||–|
|Best basic system||$49.95||$19.95/mo.||30-day trial, prorated refund||UL, FM, SIA||View Packages||Read review||–|
|Best smart features||$99.00+||$24.99/mo.||30-day trial||Five Diamond||View Packages||Read review||–|
|Best customer policies||$0.00||$29.95/mo.||Prorated refund||UL, ESA||View Packages||Read review||–|
Info current as of post date. Offers and availability may vary by location and are subject to change.
Video: Medical Alert Comparison
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Best medical alert systems reviews
1. Bay Alarm Medical: Best overall
Bay Alarm Medical balances quality, variety, and affordability like no other medical alert company. Plus, its monitoring center boasts the industry’s four most prestigious certifications and offers support in around 170 languages.
Image: Cathy Habas, SafeWise
We tested all of Bay Alarm Medical's equipment before we made it our top recommendation. Everything was a breeze to set up and use, right down to the caregiver app. (You can get our full opinion—including some complaints—in our detailed Bay Alarm Medical review.)
We especially loved the Bella Charms, which cover the in-home button and give you a fashionable incentive to wear it everyday.
If you feel overwhelmed by all the different medical alert systems to choose from, Bay Alarm Medical is a great company to start with. But if you want to create a highly customized system, it might be too basic for your needs.
Learn more about our testing experiences in our full Bay Alarm Medical review.
2. Medical Guardian: Best on the go
In addition to its in-home devices, Medical Guardian offers three unique mobile medical alert systems: Active Guardian, Mobile 2.0, and Mini Guardian.
We like the Mini Guardian best because it uses GPS tracking technology, cellular data, and Wi-Fi to pinpoint your location in an emergency—making it a perfect on-the-go option.
It's also compatible with the MyGuardian mobile app, boasts a 5-day battery, and can be upgraded to include automatic fall detection for an extra monthly fee.
Many other brands rely on just GPS data for location tracking. Because there’s more than one technology at work in the Mini Guardian, it’s more likely to transmit an accurate location to caregivers or the monitoring center.
The Mini Guardian comes with a lanyard and belt clip, and its battery lasts up to five days. You can add a built-in fall-detection sensor to this mobile medical alert system for an extra $10 a month.
Free caregiver app
We also like the MyGuardian app and online dashboard, which lets your loved ones and caregivers see where you’ve been and where you are now. You have full control over who gets this information.
Other medical alert companies have no caregiver portal, make you pay extra for one, or only give location information through text.
MyGuardian also lets your loved ones keep an eye on the Mini Guardian’s battery or pay your monthly bill.
If you live outside AT&T’s coverage zone but do have Verizon coverage, consider Lifefone’s Voice in Pendant mobile system. As far as we know, it’s the only GPS alert device that works with Verizon.
Confirm which cell towers are in your area with the FCC map.
Learn more in our full review of Medical Guardian.
3. GetSafe: Best for budgets
GetSafe, a branch of Bay Alarm Medical, is the only medical alert company that charges a flat rate for monitoring—$27.95—no matter how many buttons you want in your home. (GetSafe recommends one button for each room in your home for best results.) Other companies charge an extra monthly fee for every button.
GetSafe offers voice activation
Image: Cathy Habas, SafeWise
Aside from its affordable monthly price, GetSafe also has one of the easiest-to-use voice-activated systems. We put it to the test and had no trouble—the device called the monitoring center right after we said, "call 911, call 911."
Learn more about our hands-on testing experience in our full GetSafe review.
4. Lifeline: Best for fall detection
Combining an accelerometer and barometric pressure sensor, the Lifeline AutoAlert accurately detects about 95% of falls.1 You can get this fall detection device as part of an in-home or on-the-go system to suit your lifestyle. We’re also impressed by Lifeline’s transparency and commitment to fall-detection education.
AutoAlert’s two sensors are a rarity
The more sensors in a device, the more accurately it detects falls. Out of more than 75 devices we considered, only three had dual fall-detection sensors.
Lifeline thoroughly explains how its fall-detection devices work—including the limitations of those devices—on its website, offering a level of transparency above and beyond any other brand. Philips Lifeline also seems to take fall detection a little more seriously with data analytics and testing.
Lifeline's hidden fees
Our main criticism of Lifeline is its price. Yes, it’s often worth paying more for better tech and service, especially for something as serious as a medical alert system. But we don’t like the extra fees that come with setting up or canceling a Lifeline account.
Budget for a $50 activation fee for the AutoAlert. If you decide to cancel, be prepared for a $50 restocking fee.
Learn more about AutoAlert on the Lifeline website or read our full Lifeline review.
5. LifeFone: Best at-home medical alert system
We like LifeFone’s in-home medical alarm systems because you can add extra layers of protection with inactivity alerts, daily check-ins, or fire and smoke monitoring.
And Lifefone’s wearable devices work up to 1,300 feet away from the base station—one of the longest ranges on the market. That means most folks can go out in the yard without switching to a mobile device.
LifeFone monitors all system batteries and sends you replacement devices when the battery gets low (which takes about five years). The wearable pendants can double as a phone receiver, allowing you to answer all incoming calls anywhere in the house or yard, and the base units monitor indoor temperature.
LifeFone’s extra features provide a fail-safe for people at risk of passing out or being unable to push the help button.
- Fall detection starts at $5/month
- Activity assurance for $6/month
- Daily check-in calls for $19/month
Learn more in our full LifeFone review.
6. MobileHelp: Best basic system
MobileHelp is great for a basic push-button medical alert system and boasts the longest signal range in the industry at 1,400 feet. Although MobileHelp’s starter price is technically the most affordable on our list, adding a fall-detection pendant, wall buttons, medication reminders, or spouse coverage to your MobileHelp order makes it cost about the same as competitors like Bay Alarm or LifeFone.
Read our full review of the most affordable medical alert systems for more details.
Unique service: MDLive
All MobileHelp subscribers have access to a telehealth service called MDLive. MDLive allows you to speak to a doctor on demand. They can prescribe common medications, ensuring a small problem doesn’t turn into a big deal. You don’t pay a co-pay or even have to verify your insurance.
Learn more in our full review of MobileHelp.
7. Aloe Care Health: Best smart features
In addition to the usual help button and two-way talk, Aloe Care Health’s base station monitors air quality, temperature, and motion. You can also call for help by repeatedly saying “Emergency” or use the hub as a speaker phone to call your caregivers.
And if all of that isn’t innovative enough, Aloe Care also offers a totally unique wall-mounted fall detection hub.
We also like that Aloe Care sells extra motion sensors that offer a second layer of protection. The sensors learn your typical routine and alert caregivers if you aren’t active at your usual times.
Fall detection wall button
We like Aloe Care’s outside-the-box approach to fall detection. All you have to do is mount their special wall panel in the bathroom, where the risk of falling is especially high as you get out of the tub or shower.2 If you fall, the device alerts the monitoring center.
But there’s still a chance it won’t recognize your fall, a risk shared by all fall-detection devices.
Great for caregivers
Screenshot: Cathy Habas, SafeWise
We think Aloe Care’s caregiver app is one of the easiest to use and offers the most comprehensive insights. Caregivers can download the Aloe Care app and place calls directly to the base station for quick check-ins. They’re also welcome to call the monitoring center if they’re concerned about your well-being.
The app also lets loved ones know you’re up and moving based on what the equipment senses. If too much time passes without motion, they’ll know it’s time to check-in and make sure you’re okay.
A couple of flaws
Aloe Care does have a few kinks to work out like the base station backup battery—it lasts just six hours, which is way behind the 32-hour life of many other brands.
In addition, Aloe Care’s wearable button has the smallest range we encountered, so you can’t really wear it into the yard. You’ll have to grab the mobile unit on your way out.
Learn more about our testing experience in our full review of Aloe Care Health.
8. Lifenet: Best customer policies
We found only one medical alert company that didn’t charge hidden or extra fees: Lifenet. With this medical alert company, you won’t get hit with activation, restocking, or cancelation fees. You don’t even have to pay shipping on orders or returns.
Lifenet also offers a free lifetime warranty on all equipment. Many other companies will charge you for the price of lost or damaged equipment—which can easily cost over $300—or make you pay for an extended warranty.
We also like these Lifenet policies and services:
- Prorated refunds
- Batteries monitored and replaced by the company
- Affordable spouse coverage ($3.99/mo.)
Lifenet equipment and cost
Lifenet sells two equipment packages: Home and Garden, and Home and Away.
Home and Garden is an in-home system. Its base unit connects to a landline, and you wear a wristband with a button on it. The button works within about 1,000 feet of the base station so you can go out into the yard and know that help is still a push away. It costs $29.95 per month, and you can add wall buttons for an additional $2.49 a month each.
Home and Away is a wearable medical alert device. It includes a help button, a speaker, and a microphone so you don’t have to stay near a base station to ask for help. This waterproof device also detects falls and features GPS technology so helpers can know where to find you if you get lost. The Home and Away costs $49.95 per month.
The only extra service offered by Lifenet is a “daily assurance” check-in. A Lifenet representative speaks to you every day, and they send help if you don’t respond.
More medical alert brands we considered
We considered more than 75 products across nearly 30 brands. Here are a few that didn’t quite make the cut.
ADT Medical Alert
If you have an ADT home security system, you can get a discount on its in-home and on-the-go medical alert packages. Otherwise, the cost of an ADT Medical Alert system is a bit high for what you get. It starts at $29.99/month for a landline system without fall detection.
We also weren’t impressed by the signal range for the in-home systems: 300 feet for the Basic and 600 feet for the Plus.
Learn more about in our full review of ADT Medical Alert.
BellPal with BlueStar SeniorTech
Our hearts definitely went pitter-patter when we saw this gorgeous wristwatch. The BellPal doesn’t look like a medical alert device at all, but it includes GPS tracking, fall detection, and an SOS button. Like the Lively Wearable 2, BellPal only works when it’s close to a smartphone.
We were also bummed to see that you have to take this watch to a jeweler every four to six months to replace the battery. We know “replace battery” would end up on our to-do list for weeks. That’s why many other companies just send you a new wearable device instead of asking you to do it yourself.
BellPal costs about $200 up front. Monitoring is provided through BlueStar SeniorTech starting at around $20 a month.
FastHelp is not a monitored medical alert system, so we don’t recommend it for most situations.
Because it always calls 911 directly, you may get fined for false alarms. The 911 dispatchers and emergency responders also won’t have your medical history, lockbox code, or emergency contacts on file. In contrast, monitored systems retain this information and relay it to the emergency service for fast, accurate, and safe help.
The main advantage of FastHelp is that you only pay a one-time equipment fee. Since there’s no emergency monitoring, there are no monthly fees.
Learn more in our full FastHelp review.
Life Alert is an industry pioneer famous for its TV commercials, but it hasn’t moved its sales and marketing into the 21st century. There’s almost no information about the system online.
We called to discover the cost of Life Alert. It’s by far the most expensive medical alarm system on the market, with monitoring prices starting at nearly $50/month. The minimum activation fee is around $95. The price significantly increases if you add a GPS button, and there’s no automatic fall detection option at all.
Learn more in our full Life Alert review.
Lively (formerly Great Call)
We nixed the Lively Wearable 2 because you have to carry a smartphone with you to talk to the monitoring center. It’s just too easy to leave home without your phone, assuming you have one to begin with.
The Lively Mobile Plus features a built-in speaker and microphone, so it’s the better option among Lively’s line-up. There’s really nothing wrong with this product—we just prefer the extra tracking technology in the Medical Guardian Mini Guardian and the superior fall detection technology in the Philips Lifeline AutoAlert.
Lively's basic emergency service—Urgent Response—starts at $25 per month.
Learn more in our full Lively review.
LifeStation deserves a shout-out as the only other medical alert company besides Philips Lifeline to combine an accelerometer and a barometric sensor in its fall detection device. LifeStation’s basic in-home package starts at an affordable $23 per month, but GPS tracking, fall detection, wall buttons, spouse coverage, and a warranty all add to the monthly fee.
We also experienced some technical difficulties with the website that would make it difficult to order a system.
Learn more in our full review of LifeStation.
We’re keeping a close eye on Medical Alert because it achieved “runner-up” status in key categories. For example, Medical Alert’s fall detection system includes two sensors, and its basic in-home system costs the same as MobileHelp’s. We also found Medical Alert’s representatives to be the most knowledgeable, which can make a big difference when shopping around.
We’ll offer more insights about how Medical Alert compares to our other top brands after hands-on testing.
Learn more in our full Medical Alert review.
Medical Care Alert
Medical Care Alert offers similar equipment to Bay Alarm but costs around $5 to $7 more each month. We also found its website a little confusing because there’s no way to easily see its full product lineup.
It’s worth mentioning that Medical Care Alert used to offer a fall detection device with the holy trinity of sensors: an accelerometer, gyroscope, and magnetometer. This product was discontinued because it relied on the now-defunct 3G cellular network.
If Medical Care Alert releases this device again with 4G or 5G cellular service, we’ll sit up and pay attention. But for now, we think other brands offer better value.
QMedic offers a cellular in-home system and a mobile GPS button. This company lost our interest once we found out it doesn’t offer any fall detection at all. It’s also the only company we found that requires a full year of payment up front.
WellBe by Hands Free
The WellBe was in the running for our “Best extra features” category. We think this could be the medical alarm system of the future once digital natives start to age in place. It’s a smart speaker with a special focus on health and wellness and pairs with an optional medical alert watch by the same name.
You can talk to it by saying, “OK WellBe” and then asking, for example, a medical question. WellBe can also be programmed to remind you to take your medications, to refill prescriptions, or to get ready for an upcoming appointment. It also works like a “normal” speaker by playing music, audio books, or the news.
The smartwatch doubles as a GPS tracker, health and fitness tracker, and help button. Caregivers can also keep track of your health through the app.
As cool as it is, we’re just not sure it’s the right system for everyone. You do need to be a bit tech savvy (or know someone who is) to take full advantage of it. Check it out if you already love chatting with your Amazon Echo.
We like Bay Alarm Medical best overall because it covers all the bases at a competitive price. But every person and situation is a little different, so you might prefer the price, tech, or policies of another company. The key is to find a device that makes you feel confident and independent.
Medical alert system FAQ
Medical alert systems cost anywhere from $20 to $70 per month on average, but there are some up-front fees you'll need to budget for too.
- Equipment fees are more common with mobile medical devices and average between $50 and $200.
- Activation fees are rare but typically range from $35 to $50.
- Installation fees are even rarer—watch out for this $20 to $100 charge from Philips Lifeline.
- Shipping fees depend on your location but usually run between $10 and $20.
To learn more about possible hidden fees and how to keep costs low, read our guide to choosing a medical alert system.
Ease of use is one of the most important factors to consider when choosing a medical alert system. According to health expert Sally Russell, MN, CMSRN, CNE, "There shouldn't be any numbers to dial, just a big button." That button should also be easy to feel or to see without your glasses.
Sally also notes that mobile and wearable buttons should be discreet enough to hide under a shirt or tuck into a pocket. "People don't want everyone to know that they're wearing a help button when they go out in public," she notes.
Your medical alert should give you confidence and help you enjoy more independence. Choose one that you'll be comfortable using and wearing.
Read our complete guide to choosing a medical alert for an explanation of common features and the people who benefit from them most.
We think Bay Alarm Medical is the best home medical alert system overall.
LifeFone is our top pick for an in-home medical alert system for seniors thanks to extra services like daily check-ins and activity alerts. But we prefer Philips Lifeline if you’re at risk of falling and Medical Guardian if you’re at risk of getting disoriented away from home.
The best medical alert system to buy depends on your budget and specific risk factors. We like Bay Alarm Medical the best overall, but a system like Philips Lifeline is better if you have a high fall risk, for example.
MobileHelp is the best and cheapest medical alert system for a cellular connection, but its cost increases with extra equipment. Bay Alarm Medical is the best and cheapest for a landline connection. For long-term affordability, we recommend GetSafe.
We recommend LifeFone for inside the home and Medical Guardian’s Mini Guardian for outside the home. Bay Alarm is our top pick for a bit of everything.
Bay Alarm Medical and Philips Lifeline are our highest-rated medical alert systems with cellular service.
Your kids, friends, or neighbors might like to have a caregiver app that lets them check in on you without being too nosy or nagging. Once you get back to feeling like your independent self, you’ll probably prefer that too.
The exact features depend on the company, but most caregiver apps let your loved ones see where you are, whether your device’s battery needs charging, and whether you pushed the help button.
Monitored medical alert systems connect you to a call center instead of 911. There are several advantages to this:
- You won't get fined for false alarms.
- The monitoring center can reach out to your loved ones or other caregivers if needed.
- The monitoring center has your medical information on file and can relay it to 911 dispatch. You might not feel well enough to give first responders this information yourself.
- The monitoring center knows your lockbox code and can give it to 911 dispatchers. This allows the emergency responder to quickly open your door with a key rather than having to kick it in.
A medical ID bracelet provides important medical information to first responders once they're at your side. A medical alert system is what summons them in the first place.
How we reviewed the best medical alert systems
- 76 products considered
- 44 data points compared
- 7 products tested
- 2 weeks of product research
To prepare our medical alert system review, we compared each product’s technical specifications, talked to brand representatives, spoke with users, interviewed our advisory board member Sally Russell (MN, CMSRN, CNE, Health Expert and Educator), read scientific papers about the latest fall detection technology, and tested products hands-on.
Our proprietary weighted ranking system focuses on these categories:
- In-home tech specs and costs
- In-home equipment options
- Mobile device specs and costs
- Caregiving features
- Hands-on testing performance
- Company policies and attributes
In-home technical specifications and cost
We compared each medical alert company's lowest monthly cost for an in-home cellular system. We didn't compare landline prices, because some companies don't offer landline-compatible equipment. However, we did take into consideration whether a landline option was offered.
We also compared the lowest equipment fees, regardless of whether it was available as a landline or cellular system. Rounding out the in-home cost comparison was our analysis of hidden or extra fees, such as activation or installation fees.
We also considered backup battery life, maximum signal range, and more. And we investigated whether each company monitors and replaces their help button batteries for free.
In-home equipment options
We prefer seeing more equipment options since this allows people to make custom packages that suit their needs. We also looked at the cost of each option, preferring one-time fees over monthly fees for long-term affordability.
Some of the in-home equipment options we evaluated included fall detection, voice activation, wall buttons, jewelry pendants, and accessories like a lockbox or Vial of Life.
Mobile device specifications and costs
Because mobile devices often feature more technology than in-home devices, we scored them separately.
For this category, we considered the lowest equipment costs and monthly costs, plus the maximum battery life. We preferred standalone devices that aren't dependent on a smartphone, and we liked seeing more than one wear option (such as a belt clip).
We also compared the number and type of fall detection sensors (tri-axial accelerometers, barometric pressure sensors, magnetometers, and gyroscope) and location technologies (GPS, Wi-Fi, and 4G).
Caregiving features were also considered in our medical alert rankings but given less weight than other categories because medical alert systems still work without these features.
We looked for smartphone apps or online portals geared toward caregivers and considered the cost of these tools. We preferred systems with location tracking and battery alerts on the app, plus medication reminders and inactivity alerts.
Hands-on testing performance
We were able to test products from Bay Alarm Medical, GetSafe, and Aloe Care for this review, giving us extra insight into how each medical alert device performs in real-world situations.
For example, we placed multiple test calls to the professional monitoring centers to evaluate audio quality, answer speed, and ease of use. We also tested mobile medical alerts' GPS location accuracy, battery life, and caregiver app ease of use.
Company policies and attributes
Finally, we compared each medical alert brand across 12 policies and attributes. For example, we considered warranties and trial periods, the cost of spouse coverage, cancellation penalties, and whether the monitoring center is Five Diamond certified.
Learn more about our methodology.
Contributing author: Rebecca Edwards
Related articles on SafeWise
- Philips Lifeline, “Automatic Fall Detection.” Accessed August 31, 2022.
- Judy A. Stevens, Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report (CDC), “Nonfatal Bathroom Injuries Among Persons Aged ≥15 Years --- United States, 2008,” June 10, 2011. Accessed August 31, 2022.