If you have loved ones in your life with mobility or medical conditions, or if you yourself need extra assistance, then having a medical alert system in place will go a long way in providing peace of mind.

It’s simply not possible for most families to be around 24/7, so having a medical alert device can be the difference between a fall being just a fall with no long-term issues due to rapid response, and a fall being a life-altering occurrence due to not receiving any help for hours or even days. Getting a medical alert system is a worthwhile investment, and our comparison below will help you pick the best one for your needs.

Features to Consider

With so many different types of medical alert systems on the market, it’s important to familiarize yourself with the different features that one may offer. This will help guide you to find the best medical alert system to suit your needs and lifestyle.

Monthly Cost

Medical alert systems require 24/7 monitoring in order to rapidly respond in the event of a fall or medical issue requiring assistance. This requires a monthly fee to support the staff at the call centers. Monthly costs are sometimes the only fees; however, some systems require an activation fee and/or an equipment fee.


The least expensive at-home systems will require a landline. However, if you have cut the cord, you’ll want to be sure you’re getting a system that works with a cellular connection. Most providers offer both types of connection with their at-home systems. On-the-go systems use a cellular connection.

Two-Way Talk

Two-way talk refers to the ability of the user to communicate with a monitoring center agent through the medical alert device. With at-home systems, two-way talk is usually included in the base unit. The wearable help buttons do not include two-way talk. With on-the-go systems, you will find two-way talk in the main medical alert device, but again, not present in the help buttons that sometimes accompany an on-the-go system.

Fall Detection

Falling down can be catastrophic, especially if you’re alone when it happens. Some falls can knock a person unconscious, delaying medical assistance and exacerbating injuries. Fall detection ensures that the monitoring station is immediately alerted even if the user is unable to communicate. If a monitoring center associate is unable to communicate with the user through the device, they’ll automatically send an ambulance. If the person is away from home, the associate will use the device’s GPS to determine location.


At-home medical alert systems require a base unit that is used to communicate with the monitoring agents. You’ll want to be sure that your base unit has an adequate range with your wearable help button so that you can contact the monitoring center from anywhere in the house.