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UnaliWear

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LAST UPDATED: November 23rd, 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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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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3.8

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149 Reviews

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20%

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21%

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9%

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Gail OToole Smyrna, DE

Love the watch concept. I've had it for about 2 months. The last month it doesn't hold a full charge. Paid a lot of money for this protection. I'm glad we still have life alert.

1 month ago

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Reply from UnaliWear

The watch should hold a full charge. Our Customer Success Team will reach out to you today to troubleshoot. All the best and stay well and safe.

Oct. 28th, 2022

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Doris Oglesby Lawrenceburg, KY

I love the concept, but there have been problems with the watch itself. Battery prong broke and the casing for the attachment of the batteries to the watch began to chip away until the one side no longer made power contact. The staff was wonderful and responded to my needs immediately in a very pleasant manner, but, I now have concerns regarding reliability of the physical endurance of the watch itself.

3 months ago

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Reply from UnaliWear

We are glad you like the concept. We have wearers who have had the same watch for over 3 years, so durability is not an issue. The main reason the batteries break is that wearers try to force the batteries into or out of the battery cases on the band. There is a very helpful instruction visual that comes with the watch and our Customer Success Team can also walk you through the best practice for changing the batteries, which should prevent this issue from happening further, if that would be helpful. All the best and stay well and safe.

Aug. 26th, 2022

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Donna Wesely (for Mary Becker) Lake View, IA

My mom has been wearing the Kanega watch since Sept 2021. The watch has broken twice. The company has replaced the watch free of charge thus far which I am grateful but it seems like it broke without being abused. In the last few months, the watch is detecting falls when Mom is sitting at rest. I have watched Mom when a fall was detected and she barely moved. Another time, when we were driving it detected a fall when we went over a medium sized bump in the road. Mom gets agitated when it goes off for no apparent reason and feels like she needs to get help. One day the display on the watch was flashing the ear and vibrating or buzzing. We couldn't get it to stop by pressing the crown button so I took out both batteries until it stopped. That was really agitating her. Sometimes the volume is so low that even I can't hear it. I asked customer service what I could do to make the volume louder and they just referred me to the instructions. I never did find anything on volume but the next day it was a little louder. The representatives have been very helpful and courteous. I would rate them as excellent. When I have called to report problems with the watch, I really haven't had my questions answered. Replacement of the watch has been prompt and without hassle.

4 months ago

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Reply from UnaliWear

Thank you for your review. Our Customer Success Team will reach out regarding your questions and concerns. You and your Mom should be having a seamless experience and we will ensure that happens going forward to the best of our ability.

Jul. 7th, 2022

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Phyllis Schene Dallas, TX

The technology is very good but not great. While I like the mobility for being able to use these devices in the home as well as when you are out and about away from home, they are still not intelligent enough to separate regular spoken words, say while talking on the phone, from a real and demonstrated need for emergency services. These interruptions are annoying. Additionally, because the devices are made with sub-par cheap plastic, the battery clips break very often and need to be exchanged out. I really like the product idea, but its ugly, bulky and cheap materials make it something that I don't want to wear. I think they need to go back to the design team and come up with something that is intelligent and looks great with quality materials.

5 months ago

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Reply from UnaliWear

Hi Phyllis, we do have a very small percentage of our wearers who break the battery carriers over time. Mostly this is due to improperly changing of the batteries. Please contact our Customer Success Team if we can be of help in identifying why these breakages are happening with your watch. All teh best and stay well and safe.

Jun. 28th, 2022

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Kelly Muskego, WI

Not easy to turn off. Instructions for usage inadequate

1 week ago

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Reply from UnaliWear

Our Customer Success Team will be reaching out to you. Not sure why you are referring to in terms of "turn off": Is that the watch itself or an alert from the watch? Either way, we can help you resolve this issue. Regarding instructions, we have a nearly 50-page user manual which you are welcome to review in detail. Most of our wearers never do, since the watch is very simple to use. All the best and stay well and safe.

Nov. 25th, 2022

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Greg Knese Little Neck, NY

I bought Unaliwear for my elderly mother. It costs a small fortune. The batteries keep dying and must be replaced. Unaliwear has been very responsive and replaces them, but the device has become too much work for my mother.

4 months ago

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Reply from UnaliWear

We are sorry to hear of your and your Mom's experience. That is not the experience of the vast majority of our wearers. The Kanega Watch is a simple plug-and-play device and should not be seen as too much work for your Mother. Please contact our customer success team at 888-343-1513 ext 1 if we can be of any further assistance.

Aug. 1st, 2022

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Henry Martens Lafayette, MN

Remembering Fred Astaire is hard. Watch batteries are hard to change for diabetics with numbness in finger tips.

1 month ago

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Reply from UnaliWear

Thank you for your review. "Fred Astaire" is our wake word for the watch's voice activation functionality (eg: "Fred Astaire, Get Help"), just like Apple has Siri and Amazon has Alexa. Just to clarify, you don't need to use your voice to get help via the watch's built-in Automatic Fall Detection or by pushing the discrete crown button of the watch. Regarding the batteries, with very numb fingers, we can understand this may be difficult for you. We are sorry. Our rechargeable battery system, as you know, ensures you never have to remove the Kanega Watch to charge - just swap out the batteries - a unique benefit. For the vast majority of our wearers, including our oldest at 105, it is an extremely easy process. We are sorry it is not so easy for you. If we can be of any further help with your Kanega Watch, please call us at 888-343-1513 and press option 1. All the best and stay well and safe.

Oct. 21st, 2022

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Gladys T. McGarey Scottsdale, AZ

I have been wearing a kenaga watch for 6 months now. on the negative side, so far the watch has not successfully registered a fall. on the positive side, the company has been trying to resolve all issues as they arise.

4 months ago

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George Torrez Genoa City, WI

The concept and function of the watch is great, service is great, however the watch band is needing work. I have had one replacement so far and lost three batteries since then at $36 ea. The plastic to me does not hold up.

4 months ago

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Reply from UnaliWear

Thank you for your review. The batteries are custom made and we do charge for lost batteries (some also order extra batteries). For batteries that lose their recharge ability after approx. 18 months, there is no charge for replacement, as that is part of our all-in service. We respect your opinion regarding the band, but please note that the vast majority of our wearers get a single watch and keep it for years. We always look to make improvements, but need to be careful that changes to the watch design do not negatively effect all those that are happy with the current offering. All the best and stay well and safe.

Jul. 7th, 2022

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Toby Lopresti Culver City, CA

It thinks it detects a call often if there is a percussive movement (that's ok , I've gotten used to it) but the times I've slipped but caught myself and once when I actually fell it didn't detect anything.

5 months ago

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Reply from UnaliWear

Thank you for the thoughtful comments. Our Customer Success Team is reaching out to you regarding potential adjustments to your watch's Fall Detection sensitivity. In addition, we want to record the date and time of the fall the watch did not catch. We can actually look into your watch logs to see what the watch detected when you fell. We also use that fall data to improve the accuracy of our fall detection for all wearers, which no other provider does. All the best and stay well and safe.

Jun. 20th, 2022

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David Rothel Troy, VA

The watch clock does not always come on and the fall sensor is overly sensitive.

1 month ago

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Reply from UnaliWear

Our Customer Success Team will call you today to walk you through how to ensure your watch lights up every time you want the time or date; as well as remotely adjust the sensitivity of your watch's voice and/or fall detection to your liking. All the best and stay well and safe.

Oct. 28th, 2022

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Roberta San Leandro, CA

It still startles me when it thinks I need help. The band is made of metal and it has caused my skin to bleed even though it is not tight.

3 months ago

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Reply from UnaliWear

Note that both the voice activation and fall detection sensitivity can be adjusted remotely by our Customer Success Team. You may want to consider that to relieve you of this issue. The band is made of a mesh stainless steel, which most people love. We may be able to provide you with an alternative band option. Simply contact our Customer Success Team at 888-343-1513 and press option 1 for assistance. All the best and stay well and safe.

Aug. 26th, 2022

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Joanne Sanda

This is the third watch in less than a year. Things break off and batteries explode. In addition the watch keeps indicating a fall when there isn't one.

4 months ago

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Reply from UnaliWear

We are really sorry for your inconsistent experience with our offerings so far. Your experience is not normal and we hope your most recent replacement watch will provide you with the ongoing peace of mind you deserve. Regarding your watch's Fall Detection sensitivity, our Customer Success Team will reach out to get that reduced. All the best and stay well and safe.

Jul. 19th, 2022

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Alice Clawson San Diego, CA

The watch's operations are great. The plastic case for the watch and batteries cracks. I have already had one battery replacement due to cracking and not charging .

4 months ago

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Reply from UnaliWear

Thank you for your review. We don't know why your battery cracked and would not charge, but we did promptly ship you a free replacement. We hope this is the last issue you experience with your Kanega Watch but please call our Customer Success Team with any other questions or concerns. All the best and stay well and safe.

Jul. 7th, 2022

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Vickie Willavize Mesa, AZ

The concept of the watch is great, but after 4 replacements and needing a fifth, I had to give up on it. The band needs work too, it would catch on my clothes

5 months ago

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Reply from UnaliWear

We are really sorry for your experience and wish you all the best in finding a provider that best meets your needs.

Jun. 20th, 2022

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Meg gillespie Saint Paul, MN

So many fake calls I fear a real fall would Not be taken seriously

1 month ago

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Reply from UnaliWear

Our Customer Success Team will reach out to you today to get a better sense of your experience and to make any adjustments to the level of your watch's fall detection and voice activation sensitivity that might be necessary to reduce the number of false alerts you are receiving. Note our response agents take every alert seriously and engage in the proper protocols—first trying to speak to you through your watch before reaching out to your nearby emergency contacts and, if necessary, promptly dispatching local EMS services. All the best and stay well and safe.

Oct. 17th, 2022

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Linda McAllister The Villages, FL

At first I was really impressed with the idea of the watch being convenient to wear and detect falls as well other actions. As time went on the device would "detect a fall" where there was there was not even a stumble. The worst part was the voice saying "a fall has been detected in public. The device would go off with raising of my arm, constant movement, or activity such as throwing a ball. I received frequent "I thought you asked for Help" voice. Several "adjustments" were supposedly made to no avail. It was embarrassing and a nuisance. I never fell so don't know if it would detect an actual fall. The battery prongs would recede into the battery making them unusable. They were replaced but that took time with the watch being useless. Watch bar band holder broke. I finally has enough and cancelled service June 6, 2022 and returned the watch June 7 which was delivered June 9. I finally received my refund August 2, 2022. I definitely have not recommended this device for the safety.

6 months ago

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Reply from UnaliWear

Very sorry you feel this way about your Kanega Watch. Note, you are not locked into a contract and can return the watch and related equipment anytime for a prompt prorated refund. The Voice Activation and Fall Detection sensitivities can be adjusted, and would encourage you to work with our customer success team to match those sensitivities to your needs (they can also turn off the Voice Activation on your Kanega Watch entirely, if that is your preference). Yes, a small percentage of our wearers can find the battery changing a bit challenging and, forcing the batteries into and/or pulling them out can cause immediate breakage of the band or small fractures that can cause unexpected breakage over time. Please contact our customer success team to review the process of changing these spring loaded batteries again so this is no longer an issue for you going forward. All the best and stay well and safe.

May. 31st, 2022

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Ellen Mihok

The ear comes on too often foe no reason. The watch still says I've called for help too often even though the sensitivity has been adjusted.

4 months ago

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Reply from UnaliWear

Note that we are very conservative regarding the lowering of both Fall Detection and Voice sensitivity -as we don't want to lower it beyond what makes each wearer comfortable - so they have the most protection possible. Our Customer Success Team will reach out to you to lower the Voice Activation further, which is currently triggering the ear icon. All the best and stay well and safe.

Jul. 19th, 2022

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sally sedler

the watch registers "fall Detection and the ear symbol appears for no apparent reason Too sensitive and you cant seem to correct it

4 months ago

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Reply from UnaliWear

Our Customer Success Team will reach out to you to lower your Voice Activation and Fall Detection sensitivity further. We tend to be conservative with these efforts, so we don't lower them beyond what makes you comfortable - so you have the most protection possible. All the best and stay well and safe.

Jul. 19th, 2022

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Charles Todd Lawrenceville, GA

My experience is that the electronics is first rate but that the material and finish of the watch needs significant development and improvement

5 months ago

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Reply from UnaliWear

Thank you for your feedback and thoughtful response. We have many happy wearers who have never had to replace their watch after a number of years who might disagree with your assessment regarding the finish and materials. That said, about 2-3% of our wearers can have issues changing the batteries and, in forcing the batteries into and out of the watch, breakage can occur. We have a pretty generous replacement policy when that occurs. We also review every watch that comes back to assess ways to improve the experience going forward for all our wearers. We hope you continue to be a Kanega Watch wearer and that you stay well and safe.

Jun. 17th, 2022

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Shannon Trezil

Poor battery life, could be more user friendly for the elderly. Battery holder cracked less than 2 weeks into use

4 months ago

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Reply from UnaliWear

Our batteries are designed to last 24-36 hours. If you are not getting that level of coverage, we can replace your batteries at no charge to you. Regarding the battery holder, that rarely breaks and when it does it is almost always due to wearers forcing the batteries into and out of the watch, which causes the holders to fracture over time. Please reach out to our customer success team for a quick walk through on changing the batteries, in the hopes resolving this issue going forward. All the best and stay well and safe.

Aug. 1st, 2022

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Christopher K Lanzone

It goes off for no reason even when you make an adjustment, batteries do not last long.

4 months ago

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Reply from UnaliWear

Thanks for being a Kanega Watch wearer for nearly 3 years. Our Customer Success Team will reach out to you to adjust the sensitivity on your watch for both Fall Detection and Voice Activation, which should resolve your "go off for no reason" issue. Regarding batteries, they are designed to last 24-36 hours. If you are not having that experience, please let our Customer Success Team know, as well.

Jul. 19th, 2022

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Mary Eileen Lang

Receive to many false notices. My charger does not seem to be working as well as it should.

4 months ago

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Reply from UnaliWear

Our Customer Success Team will reach out to you to reduce the sensitivity of your Voice and Fall Detection Activations. When they call, please speak with them about your charger as well. Thanks and stay well and safe.

Jul. 19th, 2022

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Richard Bartholomew Buffalo, NY

I have trouble form day one. To sensitive ,they tried fix it 3 times, still too sensitive!

4 months ago

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Reply from UnaliWear

We are really sorry you find the fall detection too sensitive. As you noted, we have reduced the sensitivity of your watch multiple times - which is something no other medical alert provider is able to do. Our Customer Success Team will reach out to you shortly to see if you would like the sensitivity reduced further. We tend to be conservative with these reductions, as we don't want to reduce it more than necessary - so you continue to have as much fall detection protection as possible. All the best and stay well and safe.

Jul. 16th, 2022

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Tom Hosea Littleton, CO

Great technology. Quality of material falls short. Plastic is not the best choice.

4 months ago

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Reply from UnaliWear

Sorry you feel that way. Note that the combination plastic and stainless steel is designed to ensure the watch is a light as possible - since people want to wear it 24/7 that is a key requirement. The vast majority of our wearers get their watch and wear it with no issues for years. You have had a number of replacements and we look forward to working with you to identify why this is occurring.

Jul. 7th, 2022

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Edward McGuire Baldwinsville, NY

Watch isn't working correctly, new one being shipped

3 months ago

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Reply from UnaliWear

Sorry for your initial experience. We are replacing your watch for free, as you know, and it should be arriving shortly. All the best.

Aug. 26th, 2022

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Jennifer Hertslet Pittsboro, NC

Many problems with the batteries so have had to get 2 watch replacements.

4 months ago

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Reply from UnaliWear

Thank you for being a consistent wearer for nearly a year. We are sorry you have had issues with breaking the watch battery carries. A very small percentage of our wearers have this issue and it is almost always caused by micro-fracturing of the battery carriers caused by changing the batteries too forcefully over time. We will have our Customer Success Team reach out to you shortly to see if we can help determine the cause of your multiple breakages. All the best and stay well and safe.

Jul. 16th, 2022

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Joan Deery Hilton Head Island, SC

Fall Detection pops up too frequently. Time display is very intermitent.

4 months ago

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Reply from UnaliWear

Thank you for your review. We will have our Customer Success Team reach out to you to discuss the sensitivity of your Fall and Voice detection functionality. In terms of the time, to save battery power, the watch stays black until you ask for the time, push the crown button for the time or turn the watch to your face. All the best and stay well and safe.

Jul. 7th, 2022

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Mindy Homer

Batteries tend to get caught on things & dislodge

4 months ago

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FRANCES M STAUNTON Troy, NY

Responses are either too slow, or false positive

5 months ago

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Reply from UnaliWear

Hi Frances, sorry for your experiences with false positives. Note that the Kanega Watch is the only medical alert device where the sensitivity of these alerts - both voice and fall detection activity - can be reduced at your request. In addition, the watch learns your movements over time, naturally reducing false fall detection positives. Please contact our customer success team if we can be of service in making your Kanega Watch work best for you going forward. All the best and stay well and safe.

Jun. 28th, 2022

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susan freud Tucson, AZ

Problems with the fall detection program.

5 months ago

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Reply from UnaliWear

Hi Susan, sorry for your experience. Please contact our Customer Success Team to review your concerns. We can make adjustments to your watch remotely that might alleviate those problems. All the best and stay well and safe.

Jun. 28th, 2022

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Verified Customer

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Stanley Yreka, CA

Product is more fragile especially batteries then expected.

5 months ago

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Reply from UnaliWear

Sorry you feel that way. We have many happy wearers who have never had an issue with their watch for years. It's true that approx. 2-3% of our wearers have some issues changing the batteries - forcing them into and out of the battery carriers - which can cause breakages over time. We do our best to help these wearers. That said, appreciate the honest feedback and will continue to try and improve the Kanega Watch experience for you and others in our growing community.

Jun. 17th, 2022