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UnaliWear

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LAST UPDATED: December 1st, 2022

UnaliWear is a medical alert company seeking to help vulnerable populations increase their independence while maintaining dignity. UnaliWear’s main product is the Kanega Watch. The company's founder, Jean Anne Booth, got the idea for the Kanega Watch when trying to get a medical alert system for her aging mother. Her mother would not wear a neck pendant and Jean Anne, as an electrical engineer/entrepreneur, felt she could work with her team of developers and investors to create a best-in-class medical alert alternative. The Kanega Watch is that alternative.

The only medical alert watch with built-in fall detection, designed to be worn everywhere (bed, shower, out shopping, visiting family, etc.), uniquely connects to both WiFi and cellular (for the best coverage) and never needs to be removed to charge – so you can truly be protected 24/7. To get help, simply use your voice or the watch’s alert button or automatically via the watch’s fall detection functionality. 

Any of those will immediately connect you to a 24/7 emergency response operator based in the United States with a TMA 5-Diamond and UL certification. The operator will seek to speak to you through your watch. If you are unresponsive, they can contact your emergency contacts as well as dispatch emergency services to your GPS location. 

Customers are charged a one-time fee upfront along with monthly charges to cover monitoring and cellular service. The cost of the Kanega Watch is more expensive than others on the market; however, the watch’s unique fall detection, voice activation, continuous wearing and multiple connectivity features rationalize the increased expense for many wearers – particularly those turned off by neck pendants that can be more stigmatizing

The watch comes in three accent colors: rose gold, black, and champagne gold. The watch is resistant to sweat and water making it easy to wear in the shower or while exercising. The design is both sleek and discreet making it a great companion for everyday activities. 

Keep reading the pros and cons of choosing the Unaliwear Kanega Watch. 

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The Good

  • Fall Detection Machine Learning 
  • 3 Ways to Get Help (Including Voice Activation)
  • 30-Day Risk-Free Trial 
  • No Need to Remove to Charge
  • Wide Call Coverage

Fall Detection Machine Learning

Over time, the Kanega Watch learns your daily routines and movements to create a more accurate fall detection feature. You can also customize how sensitive you want the watch to be. The watch can detect when you’ve fallen and contact the operator to send emergency services. This automatic fall detection is a patented technology exclusive to the Kangea Watch. The technology is meant to cut back on the false fall alerts that notify medical alarm call centers even when there is no emergency.

Other companies often charge for an additional pendant whose sole purpose is to detect falls. UnaliWear offers the convenience of having these features along with others all include in one device. 

3 Ways to Get Help (Including Voice Activation)

Pressing little buttons on a small watch interface can result in a frustrating experience. When you’re in an emergency situation, you need to be able to communicate quickly.  That’s why UnaliWear created a watch that uniquely offers three ways to get help – fall detection, button, and voice. You can also press the watch button to connect with the response center based in the United States. The watch wearers can also set up medication reminders in the online portal. 

The watch does not require a landline or cellphone to work. The Kanega Watch has its own Wi-Fi connection and LTE technology. This gives you the freedom to leave the house without a phone while still keeping a communication device on you. 

30-Day Risk-Free Trial 

All purchases include a 30-day risk-free trial. That means if you are not satisfied with the product within the first 30 days of purchase, you can return the watch for a full refund. Risk-free trials show that the company believes in its product quality and value. 

None of the plans include a contract. You can cancel at any time for a pro-rated refund of all the unused months paid upfront; by simply returning the equipment back to UnaliWear in good condition. The initial set-up fee is not refundable after the 30 days have passed. 

No Need to Remove to Charge

One of the most convenient features of the Kanega Watch is its long-lasting charge. Each purchase comes with four rechargeable lithium batteries. You never have to worry about remembering to charge the watch at night and put it back on in the morning. Just swap out the batteries daily to stay protected. 

Watch batteries are easy to replace and require minimal finger strength. There is also a backup battery in the watch that provides GPS location and enough power to make a 15-minute call or remain on standby for up to 8 additional hours. 

Wide Call Coverage 

The Kanega Watch stays connected to Verizon’s cellular network at all times. In addition to the cellular connection, the watch also has Wi-Fi connectivity capabilities to keep your connection strong while you’re at home. Not all homes have reliable cellular service so this Wi-Fi connectivity helps ensure fast and consistent service. 

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The Bad

  • No Wearable Neck Pendant Options
  • Higher than Average Monthly Cost 

No Wearable Neck Pendant Options

The majority of providers offer medical alert pendants you can wear around your neck or wrist. UnaliWear only sells a smartwatch, rather than wearable pendants. However, this may not be seen as a disadvantage if you prefer a smartwatch over a wearable pendant. 

Expensive Monthly Cost 

UnaliWear offers a monthly and an annual payment plan. The annual plan includes an upfront cost of $199 for the watch and an ongoing service fee of $59.95 per month, paid upfront for the year (with a prorated refund for canceling during the year).

The monthly plan is a little more expensive with a one-time fee of $299 and a $69.95 service fee per month. 

Other medical alert smartwatches have comparable up-front prices with a range between $49.99 to $199.00. Some medical alert companies offer the equipment for free on lease and only charge you a monthly service cost. Based on our research, UnaliWear has one of the most expensive monthly service charges for its smartwatch. This is something to consider if you are trying to find an affordable medical alert option. 

Note: The company offers discounts for individuals buying two Kanega watches in the same location. You can also get a free month of service if you are an AARP member or a family member of active duty military or veteran. 

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The Bottom Line

UnaliWear has taken medical alert smartwatches to the next level by including several exclusive features such as voice-activation, smart fall detection, and Wi-Fi compatibility. The long-lasting battery makes it easy to wear the watch day and night. Individuals won’t have to worry about forgetting to put it on every day. 

The Kanega Watch is priced above other traditional medical alert products. This watch may not be the right fit for you if you have a tight budget and need a very simple medical alert pendant. 

The company does not offer other medical alert devices. However, the Kanega Watch is a versatile product that works in the home or when you are outside. UnaliWear’s watch is a good fit for individuals seeking a simplified device that provides safety and independence; particularly for those looking for a fall detection device that does not require wearing a neck pendant.

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Message from
UnaliWear

Unali means “friend,” and Kanega means “speak” in the Cherokee Native American language. So we aspire to be “the friend that speaks to you” and helps you stay independent with dignity.

The Kanega Watch is the only medical alert watch with built-in Fall Detection. Until her mother passed away in late 2018, Jean Anne Booth, our founder, continued to run every prototype by her mother to make sure her tech made sense in the real world. Her mother had the title of "Senior Experience Officer" – both literally and figuratively.

That's why the Kanega Watch is waterproof, voice, button and fall detection activated, and it never needs to be removed to charge (among other key features) – providing real round-the-clock peace of mind for wearers and those who care for them.

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3.9

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152 Reviews

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9%

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Anne Herkenrath Lake Oswego, OR

November 3, 2022 Kanega I am a 92 year old, fairly active and cognizant woman, who has been using the UnaliWear Kanega Watch for 6 months. And I have a few comments. I find the watch very bulky to wear & it leaves bruises on my arm I took a trip in July and decided I could not take it with me as the charger was too bulky & I don't know why it needs 3 charging ports.for 2 batteries When I got home I couldn't get the watch to work properly so sent notice to company for help. You sent me a new watch. During this time the new watch has fallen off my wrist twice. And I have lost 2 batteries so now I am working with only 2 batteries Other reactions: As much as I like gadgets and would love an Apple type watch. This would not be the watch for ordinary elderly people with low hand/finger dexterity to change the batteries every day. Asking Fred Astaire for the time is not always appropriate. It detects too many falls that are not falls & it may be just sitting down that triggers it. I think you have a great idea in the watch which will detect falls, etc. if you can improve the latching mechanism; have batteries that last longer; a less bulky charger (when you are away from home we need the extra protection). Thank you for the opportunity to test this watch.

2 weeks ago

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Reply from UnaliWear

Thank you for trying the Kanega Watch for free as part of our partnership with your local support organization. We are sorry your experience was not more positive, but it was also quite unusual: 1. The watch is not heavy to wear (our oldest wearer is 103 and she wears it religiously 24/7) but the "bulk" as you indicate, comes from the watch band - where the rechargeable batteries are stored. Respectfully, it is not a flaw, but a feature. Our patented battery system ensures our wearers never have to remove their Kanega Watch to charge - particularly at night when they are most vulnerable. It is true peace of mind for our wearers and those that love them (many loved ones say we are giving them back the gift of a full night's sleep - as they no longer have to worry about what might happen to the wearer at night). 2. We don't know why your watch is falling off your wrist, except that you might not be securing the clasp. Again, this a very unusual experience for our wearers. 3. Losing batteries is also highly unusual. The batteries easily snap into the watch band and, again, very few wearers have to get additional batteries because they are lost. 4. Regarding ease of changing batteries, our 103 year old wearer is a good example. She has been changing her batteries regularly for over three years and has never had an issue (when her batteries start to lose their rechargeability, we send her new batteries as part of her service). 5. Our voice activation is a huge benefit to all our wearers. Fred Astaire is the watch's wake word. You can certainly ask your watch for the time, but you can also just turn the watch to your face and it will automatically light up for you. Since the watch uses clear/large black on white lettering, we hope it was easy for you to read the dial info. 6. The sensitivity of the fall detection can be adjusted to meet your needs. In addition, the watch gets smarter about your specific movements the longer you wear your watch. We wish you all the best in finding an alternative that best meets your needs. We believe you will not find a better alternative on the market. We'd love you to return as a wearer, if you discover that is actually the case. Either way, all the best and stay well and safe.

Nov. 18th, 2022

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Kt miller West Grove, PA

It is annoying as it reports a fall several times an hour. It's embarrassing and I don't want to wear it as I find it very inconvenient. I'd like to know why it has reported to me "calling operator to report fall"so,many times and most of the time I am sitting perhaps having a conversation or eating a meal at a restaurant. Id like to find an alternative

3 months ago

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Reply from UnaliWear

We are very sorry for your experience. Please note a few key points: 1. Our Customer Success Team can lower the sensitivity of your fall detection. That will quickly reduce and likely eliminate the false fall alerts you are getting. 2. You may be confusing an alert from a fall with an alert from voice activation - where the watch thinks you asked for help. This would match where you are finding these alerts happening. For example, in a restaurant, with lots of ambient noise, it is possible the watch thought you asked for help. Again, our Customer Success Team can lower the sensitivity of your voice activation, as well. We will have our Customer Success Team reach out in hopes of connecting with you and making these adjustments. All the best and stay well and safe.

Sep. 3rd, 2022

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Loren McKee Bellevue, NE

I have had multiple issues with my watch, cracked battery cases, batteries that failed to hold a charge for 24 hours, false fall detections after adjustments were made for that reason, and another issue with the webbing part of the band. The plastic material that makes up the casing of the watch is brittle and cracked lbs easily. It has detected a fall while I was sitting and the watch was motionless and a k so when I was changing batteries. It is too sensitive for anyone who is physically active, even after adjustment. The concept is great, but mire work needs to be done in the sensitivity of the watch and the quality of the materials that make up the watch. In fairness to the company, the service for repairs and time taken to make repairs has been extremely good!

4 months ago

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Reply from UnaliWear

We are sorry for your experiences, as they are not reflective of the vast majority of Kanega Watch wearers. We are glad our customer success team has been responsive. In addition, note that the watch has two forms of automatic alerts - Fall and Voice. It's likely that the watch's voice activation went off while you were sitting motionless, not the fall detection. That said, if you contact our customer success team with the date and time of that activity, we can look at the watch logs to see what happened. We have many wearers who wear their watch while exercising and doing other physical activities and have no issues with false fall alerts. You note that the fall detection sensitivity can be adjusted, which is true. So can the voice activation sensitivity. If you would like either/both to be adjusted lower, we can do that for you. Just contact us for support. All the best and stay well and safe.

Aug. 1st, 2022

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Ed Levy Silver Spring, MD

Calls service center when I don't intend it to. Batteries don't hold charge all day. Difficult to understand voice connection.

2 weeks ago

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Reply from UnaliWear

We have alerted our Customer Success Team to your review. They will reach out to you to help improve your experience, including increasing volume on your watch's speaker and adjusting the sensitivity of your watch's fall detection and/or voice activation to meet your needs. They can also check your battery performance. It is possible that you are experiencing low battery performance for several reasons and we are happy to troubleshoot. If the batteries are actually not holding a full day's charge, we will replace them for free. That is part of your plan with us. All the best and stay well and safe.

Nov. 18th, 2022

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Katherine Ann Nagel Snellville, GA

Have had to have the watch replaced 2 times and the 3rd watch is falling apart. This is all within one year. The at least 2 of the batteries split apart with 7 months and then another cracked and would shortly fail. I had to replace batteries 2 or 3 times a day which is crazy. I also decided I did not want to pay $60.00 per month for monitoring. If the watch had tracked steps or any other health function I may have get it. It just wasn't worth the trouble for me to keep it.

5 months ago

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Reply from UnaliWear

Sorry for your experience, Kathy, and to lose you as a Kanega Watch wearer. We have many wearers who have had their Kanega Watch for a number of years with no issues, no breakages of any kind. 2-3% of our wearers do have issues - mainly due to forcing the batteries into and out of their carriers; which can cause breakages over time. As you likely discovered, we have a pretty generous replacement policy when this occurs. We hope you find an alternative system that keeps you well and safe.

Jun. 17th, 2022

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Laura L

This watch is great in theory but horrible in practice. My father has had it for years, and there are constant issues from dying batteries in a matter of months to bands snapping. Yes the company offers replacements, but we have some issue almost every few months. Further, it detects falls when he's not moving at all and has failed to detect actual falls. Not giving me any peace of mind. Dad just went to check the time, and the watch is glitching yet again, the screen flickering rapidly. This company needs to hone the product they're offering, and for the price of the service, should compensate those that have stuck with them.

3 months ago

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Reply from UnaliWear

Really sorry for you and your Dad's experience. If you call our Customer Success Team, they can reduce the sensitivity of the Fall Detection remotely. In addition, note that the watch is both Fall and Voice activated. If the watch is activating when he is not moving, it is likely due to Voice Activation and not Fall Detection. Again, that can be remedied through our Customer Success Team. Finally, the band breaks when the batteries are regularly installed and removed improperly. If you contact our Customer Success Team for the sensitivity adjustments, they can provide solutions to the band breaking (about 2% of our wearers have this issue). We hope to keep you and your Dad as part of our Community but understand this experience is not what you expected and wish it were better for you and your entire family.

Sep. 7th, 2022

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Carol earls New Port Richey, FL

Watch plastic broke, can't wear it, so have no protection. Have to wait 7 to 10 days for a new watch! Unacceptable and unbelievable!! Am I going to get compensated for the time I'm not protected??

5 months ago

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Reply from UnaliWear

We are sorry for your experience, but your replacement watch was actually delivered in 4 days, per our records. The watch is made and ships out from Austin, Texas via FedEx Ground. New and prospective wearers are offered the opportunity to pay for faster shipping, if that is their preference. We hope you enjoy the protection and comfort the Kanega Watch provides going forward.

Jun. 20th, 2022

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Jay R Ver Hulst Clearwater Beach, FL

False positive fall alerts. Goes off when doing nothing

1 week ago

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Reply from UnaliWear

Sorry for your experience. Our Customer Success Team will be contacting you to make adjustments. Some people are comforted by periodic false positives, because they know the watch is working and monitoring their movements. Others are very much bothered by any false positives. We don't know who is who, so we allow each wearer to customize the sensitivity of their watch's fall detection to ensure it matches their specific needs and lifestyle. We will be able to do that for you and hope you will continue to be a wearer for many years to come. All the best and stay well and safe.

Nov. 25th, 2022

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Dayton Thornton Princeton, IA

I am not convinced the fall detection works. We have had many, many false alarms and the one actual fall that occurred did not generate an alarm.

4 months ago

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Reply from UnaliWear

Thank you for your review. We appreciate your concerns, but want to assure you that the Fall Detection works as advertised. That said, no fall detection catches all falls and how you fall will impact how the watch interprets your movements. That said, our Customer Success Team will reach out to you to discuss your options for modifying the sensitivity of your watch's fall detection.

Jul. 7th, 2022

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Leola Gebauer Sturgeon Bay, WI

I've had problems with the watch since the beginning, the batteries, the band, and the last customer service situation.

5 months ago

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Reply from UnaliWear

Very sorry for your experience, Leola. We know you had issues with changing the batteries, despite our best efforts to help you. We wish would could have kept you as a wearer and hope you find an option that works better for you going forward. All the best and stay well and safe.

Jun. 28th, 2022

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Marvin Peterson Denver, CO

Watch goes off when nothing is wrong Watch broke and we are without one fir one week

3 months ago

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Reply from UnaliWear

We are sorry for your experience. We lowered the sensitivity of your fall detection last month. Note the watch may be "going off" because it thinks you fell or you asked for help. The Voice Activation sensitivity can also be lowered at your request to our Customer Success Team. We will have our team reach out to you to see if you'd like us to make further adjustments. In addition, we are sorry you broke the battery carrier of your first watch and, as you indicated, we are promptly shipping you a replacement for free. All the best and stay well and safe.

Sep. 3rd, 2022

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VIRGINIA TRIBE Sierra Vista, AZ

Fall alert goes off incorrectly 10 or more times a day, and I can't see the time on the watch when I want to.

5 months ago

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Reply from UnaliWear

Sorry for your experience, Virginia. We will have one of our Customer Success Team members call you today to discuss adjusting the Voice and Fall alert sensitivity of your watch, which should quickly address this issue. In addition, when you turn the Kanega Watch to your face, it should automatically light up with large black on white numbers for you to see the time. You can also push the crown button once and it will also light up. We do this to save battery power, so the watch is always able to keep you protected, 24/7. All the best and stay well and safe.

Jun. 17th, 2022

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Carol Martin Naples, FL

microphone not working in 2 of them. Clasp not holding in 2 of them. Falls off my wrist

4 months ago

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Reply from UnaliWear

We are truly sorry your start with us has been so problematic. This is not normal and we have already provided you with a free month of service to compensate you for these unfortunate and unusual issues. We are hoping your current watch will provide you with the easy and consistent experience you deserve. Please contact our Customer Success Team if you have any further issues. All the best and stay well and safe.

Jul. 16th, 2022

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Dorothy Studer Grantsville, UT

Too many technical problems with the watch, going off unnecessarily. Canceled the service.

5 months ago

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Reply from UnaliWear

We are sorry for your experience. We worked with you to turn off the Voice Activation and reduce the sensitivity of the Fall Detection, per your requests. That said, the watch is designed to alert if it detects an odd movement via your arm. Pushing the crown button of the watch twice immediately disables that alert and, in addition, the watch uniquely learns your movements so that the number of false fall alerts decreases over time - something no other provider offers. We are really sorry to lose you as part of our growing community and wish you all the best in finding a medical alert option that best meets your needs.

Jun. 20th, 2022