Most Americans today live their lives pretty independently. While you might have your senior parents around, they don’t expect you to look after them all day. They only need a reliable way to ask for help when something threatens their health or safety.

That’s where medical alerts systems come in. Medical alerts systems are alarm systems that send distress signals to caregivers, loved ones, or emergency centers during an emergency. Medical alerts systems are also known as Medical alarm systems, Personal Emergency Response Systems (PERS), or Medical Emergency Response Systems (MERS).

So, how do you choose the best medical alert system for your needs? Keep reading to learn about the different types of medical alerts systems available and what to consider when choosing one.

How Do Medical Alert Systems Work

As the name implies, medical alerts systems are designed to assist people in medical emergencies. You can link them to a receiver and wear them around your neck or wrist. 

When an emergency occurs, you click the panic button to alert emergency responders or selected contacts of your situation. The devices also come with GPS tracking that helps emergency personnel find you and stay in touch while they’re on their way to help you.

As you can see, medical alerts systems are live savers, especially for independent seniors and vulnerable people. Older versions of medical alert devices were big, cumbersome, and helpful only at home. With improved technology, med alert systems are now made in smaller, wearable units or can be even installed on smartphones as applications.

5 Reasons to Use Medical Alerts Systems

Med alert systems are not just for older people who live alone. Anyone can use them. Consider investing in one if you want to ensure that all your family members are safe and secure when away from home. Here are other reasons to join over 3 million medical alert system users across the country.

1. Live Independently

Living alone has its pros, but it also has some drawbacks. Unfortunately, nobody can predict accidents such as falling or slipping, heart attacks, and stroke. The good news is that it’s easier to manage all these emergencies with a medical alert app. 

Suppose you’re in an unsafe environment or something happens at home and you cannot call your loved ones. Emergency medical apps intervene by sending alerts to your emergency contacts. The process is automatic, thanks to the built-in inactivity monitoring feature.

2. Have Some Peace of Mind

Med alert systems watch over the well-being of seniors and other family members. In case anything goes wrong, you will be the first to know.

Besides, some medical alert devices do more by monitoring your heartbeat and blood pressure. They generate reports on your health situation.

3. Simplify Special Care

Are you or your elderly loved one living with a health condition? Medical alarm systems can help intervene in accidents.

Recent versions of medical alerts systems are bundled with features that simplify special care. You can rest assured that there’s always “someone” watching over your loved ones by investing in med alert systems.

4. Lower Cost

The cost of healthcare will skyrocket to $5.548 trillion by 2025. The good news? You can bring down your cost of healthcare through preventive measures. Medical alert devices don’t cost much but still provide full-service features and prevent users from the severe consequences of late medical help.

Types of Medical Alert Systems

We have tons of medical alert devices today. Some are wearable, others are not, while the most valuable solutions are the ones you can install on your phone. Below are some of the most popular types of medical alert systems:

In-home Medical Alert Systems

In-home medical alerts systems are suitable for people who spend the most time at home. They usually have a base station and a portable panic button.

The base station is a 2-way speaker and microphone that allows you to communicate with the monitoring center. The portable button is a wearable device that triggers an emergency response. Once you push it, you are connected to an operator from the monitoring center or your emergency contacts (e.g., friends, family members, coworkers).

Mobile Alert System

Unlike in-home alert systems, mobile alarm systems do not need a base station. They work both inside your home and outdoors. Mobile med alert systems often support an array of top-notch features, including:

  • GPS tracker. Easily tracks or finds users’ location to send help their way.
  • Fall detection. Alerts the emergency contacts the moment the user falls by accident. 
  • No-motion detector. Sends notifications to emergency contacts when no movement is recorded in a predetermined amount of time.

Now that you are aware of the different categories of medical alert systems, you can conveniently choose the type that best suits your needs.

How to choose a medical alert system? Find answers to the questions below.

5 Questions to Answer Before You Buy a Medical Alert System

Before purchasing a medical alert system, consider the level of care you need. Do you need an emergency response? Do you want a medical alert system that will let your family know if you fall and get hurt? Before buying a medical alert system for yourself or your loved ones, here are the questions to answer.

1. How Long Will You Use It?

Will the need for the medical device last for a month, two, three or do you intend to use it for a long time?

This is important because medical alert service providers may charge you monthly, quarterly, or annually. So if you need a medical alert system for a short time, say 1-2 weeks, consider using an app with a free trial version.

2. What Type of Medical Alert System Do You Need?

The question is, are you comfortable with an in-home or a mobile medical alert device? In-home medical systems are best used at home, while mobile medical alerts systems provide coverage wherever you go. 

If you or your loved ones live an on-the-go lifestyle, you might want to consider mobile medical systems. But if the user spends the majority of their time at home, choose an in-home solution. 

3. Do You Want a Monitored or Unmonitored Medical System?

A monitored medical alarm system connects you to a trained operator in the monitoring center whenever there’s a distress call. On the other hand, unmonitored medical systems alert pre-programmed emergency contacts.

Monitored systems are much more expensive. Besides, you won’t need to call 911 in most cases. If you feel unwell, fall, or anything else happens, alerting your family members with an unmonitored app is enough to get help.

4. How Much Does it Cost?

Medical alert devices with improved functionalities like fall detection, GPS tracking, motion sensor, and cellular coverage aren’t cheap. So before buying medical alert devices, ensure that it fits your budget and you can cover the cost of installation, monthly service, repair, and upgrades.

5. How Active Are You or Your Loved One?

Are you or your loved one still strong enough to go outside on their own? Or do they mostly stay at home?

If the user spends lots of time away from home or does go out regularly for shopping, long walks, visiting relatives, etc., you should consider purchasing a GPS-enabled system.

If you have answered these questions on how to choose a medical system, you are ready to buy a medical alarm device for your loved one.

Best Option for a Medical Alarm System

Medical alerts systems are often bulky to carry around. They might ruin the outfit and seem out of place if you or your loved ones value your style.

Here are some functionalities medical alert app offers for users:

  • Panic button. It appears on the smartphone screen after installing the app. When users tap the panic button, it sends a distress signal to the pre-programmed emergency contacts.
  • GPS location tracking. GPS provides real-time information on your location so that in case of an emergency, first responders can easily find you. The GPS tracker is also helpful in non-emergency events. For instance, when older adults are missing, the GPS location tracker makes it easy to track down their location and bring them back home.
  • Inactivity monitoring. The Medical alert app offers 24/7 inactivity monitoring. Why is this important? Well, sometimes, emergency victims are unable to tap the panic button. When medical alert detects inactivity for an abnormal amount of time, it automatically sends alerts to your emergency contacts.


Accidents and medical emergencies are unpredictable, especially with adults living independently. Providing your loved ones with med alert systems is a sure way to watch over them in your absence.

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Last Update: 22 March 2024