Written by Aaron Hall | Last Updated October 10th, 2019Aaron N. Hall is a Content Management Specialist for Best Company and specializes in the home security and medical alert system industries. He would tell you that he’s probably taking pictures, writing music, or working on his next novel while out of the office, but he’s actually just watching Parks and Rec.
How We Evaluate Medical Alert Companies
We evaluate medical alert companies on a number of criteria-primarily on the quality and diversity of their medical alert systems and products, as well as on their customer service and emergency response capabilities. For example, the best medical alert companies provide their customers with the greatest level of autonomy possible: wearable pendant or wristband devices that connect with the central hub, extended device ranges for maximum in-home mobility, as well as mobile- or GPS-enabled systems for seniors on the go. Top companies also quickly alert family members, emergency contacts, and emergency personnel the event of a fall or similar situation in which a senior needs help or medical attention.
Each company in the medical alert systems industry is reviewed and ranked against the same set of standards, and companies that consistently excel across these various categories are given top marks. To learn more about how we rank medical alert companies, click here. After conducting exhaustive research on all medical alert system providers, we've identified five as being standouts in the industry:
Topping the list is Medical Guardian, a medical alert provider that has been providing 24/7 monitoring since it opened its doors in 2005. Medical Guardian's monitoring centers are CSAA-certified, meaning they have passed rigorous quality inspections and standards of excellence from a nationally recognized testing laboratory. The company provides up to $300 in free equipment for new customers, with no setup fees, and customers do not need to commit to a long-term contract. They can cancel at anytime for no additional charge.
What we like about Medical Guardian
Something we especially like about Medical Guardian is its robust line of medical alert products. Each is affordably priced, and can meet customers' needs in nearly every situation. Customers have told us how much they enjoy Medical Guardian's basic package (Classic Guardian) which has a 1,300-foot range-one of the longest we've seen for a company's standard product. We also like that customers can add supplemental features to whichever product they choose: fall detection (not offered by all companies) and GPS-enabled alerts among the most notable.
Winner of CSAA's 2016 "Monitoring Center of the Year Award," Medical Care Alert offers some of the most comprehensive alert services in the industry. Since 2012, Medical Care Alert has received consistent praise across the board for its customer service, and provides nationwide coverage. The company's Life Safety agents are all EMT-certified, meaning they are fully qualified to address any medical emergency their customers may face.
What we like about Medical Care Alert
We believe Medical Care Alert offers some of the highest-quality equipment on the market. Medical Care Alert's Home Medical Alert System is hospital-grade, with a backup battery life of up to 72 hours. We were also impressed with the Home & Yard and Home & Away systems, which feature pendants and cellular devices with two-way direct communication to the company's monitoring centers. Not only can customers alert Medical Care Alert of an emergency, but they can also speak directly to a Life Safety agent to describe what the problem is.
MobileHelp is a pioneer in Mobile-Personal Emergency Response System (or M-PERS) technology. Each of MobileHelp's products has been fully integrated with existing wireless voice and GPS technology, which allows the company to monitor and located each of its customers in real time. MobileHelp provides nationwide service, and immediately connects customers in need with 911 emergency personnel.
What we like about MobileHelp
One thing we found to be especially helpful to customers is MobileHelp's lifetime price guarantee, meaning customers will not need to worry about increases in the price of equipment or monitoring. Products are competitively priced with other top industry providers, and because none of MobileHelp's systems require landlines, they can be activated anywhere. We especially like the MobileHelp Connect® app, which features a suite of online tools (medication reminders, activity tracking, and more) to provide an extra layer of security and independence.
Founded in 1991, Acadian On Call is one of the most seasoned companies in the medical alerts industry. It offers a full range of medical alert products and features, including automatic fall detection, GPS-enabled medical alerts, and round-the-clock professional monitoring by a team of certified emergency medical dispatchers. Acadian On Call gives customers a risk-free 30-day return option-something not offered by many medical alert companies. The company's three monitoring systems are all CSAA-certified.
What we like about Acadian On Call
We noticed that Acadian On Call's basic offering-the Traditional In-Home System-offers the same benefits as other leading medical alert providers, but is priced lower. One feature we found to be particularly impressive is found on the company's Mobile Home + GPS Mobile package; the Locate Mom Feature employs GPS technology to help family members locate an Acadian On Call customer in the event of an emergency situation abroad. This feature provides additional peace of mind at a price lower than that of other industry leaders.
For over 40 years, Philips Lifeline (formerly Lifeline Systems) has been providing top-of-the-line medical alert services to a customer base that has grown into the millions. Its fall detection is among the most accurate and sensitive technology available, and responds to more than 95 percent of fall incidents. Individual push-button pendants and wristbands have battery lives that last up to five years, and all include a 20- to 30-second response rate. All products come with a five-year warranty, so customers won't have to pay for repairs or replacements.
What we like about Philips Lifeline
We are particularly impressed with what Philips Lifeline has done with its fall detection technology. Philips Lifeline's AutoAlert Help Button will automatically alert emergency responders in the event that a fall incident is detected-with an astounding 95+ percent accuracy rating. We think this demonstrates an acute awareness that fall events may at times render senior citizens unconscious or otherwise incapacitated.
To see the full list of all our reviewed and ranked medical alert system companies, click here.
The Future of the Medical Alert Systems Industry
The medical alert systems industry has encountered and overcome several ongoing challenges. To succeed, medical alert technology will need to continue to keep up with an increasingly interconnected and technology-dependent world. According to a recent survey BestCompany.com conducted among those who either owner or were most likely to purchase a medical alerts system, the number one perceived need in the marketplace is improved response time. Medical alert technology has allowed seniors to go mobile, relying less on a single landline-bound alert system; however, with increased mobility comes the risk of less effective emergency response. In the future, medical alert providers will need to address this need in particular.
As medical alert technology continues to involve to meed an ever-widening and diverse customer base, BestCompany.com will continue to make updates to its ranking criteria-shedding light on the latest industry development. Senior citizens and their loved ones can rest assured knowing they will always receive up-to-date and accurate information regarding industry changes, as well as our top industry performers.