Best Medical Alert Systems With Fall Detection in 2022
Updated for December, 2021
The best medical alert systems with fall detection can greatly improve the quality of life for seniors and their family members. With automatic fall detection and emergency medical help at the press of a button, seniors can live independently for longer, remain active with less risk, and gain around-the-clock protection.
We’ve spent tens of hours researching and testing medical alert systems with fall detection to help find the best products for you and your family. See which brands made our list of the best medical alert systems with fall detection.
Best Medical Alert Systems With Fall Detection in 2022
- Medical Guardian: Best On-the-Go Device
- MobileHelp: Most Added Perks
- Medical Alert: Most Affordable for Couples
- Bay Alarm Medical: Most Trusted and Highly Reviewed
- GetSafe: Best for In-Home Protection
Why You Can Trust Our Expert Review
Our experts independently research and recommend products we believe provide value in the lives of our readers. We’ve spent collectively more than 1,700 hours conducting in-depth research on medical alert systems. To make our picks, here’s what we did:
- Engaged in ongoing independent research
- Consulted with geriatricians and adult caregivers
- Mystery shopped the brands
- Surveyed medical alert system users
- Tested various medical alert systems
- Interviewed experts in the field
- Read hundreds of verified customer reviews from trusted third parties such as Better Business Bureau and Consumer Reports
Comparisons of the Best Medical Alert Systems with Fall Detection
|Medical Guardian||MobileHelp||Medical Alert||Bay Alarm Medical||GetSafe|
|Pros||On-the-go devices, large at-home device coverage range||Medication reminders, health and activity tracking, risk-free 30-day trial||30-day risk-free trial, 5-day battery life, simple options||Great customer reviews, Smartwatch option, on-the-go device, no monthly fee to add a spouse to in-home||ed at-home wall button, optimized for in-home use|
|Cons||No money-back guarantee, some plans include an equipment charge, poor customer reviews||No single-piece on-the-go device, caregiver app costs $60/year, short Mobile Device battery life||Only 800-foot device range, limited add-ons and perks||Limited add-ons and perks, must pay for lockbox, no discounts for paying annually||All plans have an initial equipment fee, few add-ons and perks, expensive for on-the-go coverage|
|Monthly Cost (Base)||$29.95–$44.95||$24.95–$64.95||$22.95–$42.95||$21.95–$49.95||$21.95–$39.95|
|Fall Detection Cost||$10/month||$10/month||$10/month||$10/month||$10/month|
|Activation Fee||$0||$0 or $49.95||$0||$0||$0|
|Device Range (Home Units)||500 to 1,300 feet||600 feet (landline) or 1,400 feet (cellular)||800 feet||1,000 feet||800 feet|
|Connection Type||Landline or cellular||Landline or cellular||Landline or cellular||Landline or cellular||Landline or cellular|
|Battery Life||3 or 5 days||2 days||5 days||3 days||3 days|
|Water-resistant?||Yes||Yes (buttons only)||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|Special Features||Free caregiver portal, Smart Voice Assist, OnGuard Alerts||Medication reminders, activity tracking, tablet service||No monthly fee to add spouse||Stylish necklace charms, Smartwatch option||Voice-activated wall buttons, all-in-one GPS device with fall detection|
Best Medical Alert Systems with Fall Detection in Detail
- Monthly base cost: $29.95–$49.95 + $10/month fall detection
- Device range: Home unit up to 1,300 feet
- Connection type: Cellular
- Wireless device battery lasts for three or five days depending on the model
- You can add your partner for $2.99/month to the in-home plans
- U.S.-based call center
- In-home device has a 32-hour backup battery in case of power outages
- Both in-home and on-the-go plans
- There’s a discount for paying annually, along with perks like free shipping and a free lockbox
- Some products include an all-in-one pendant, so you don’t need to carry multiple devices
- Extended help button range for in-home units
- Free caregiver portal
- Some plans have a $124.95 equipment charge
- No money-back guarantee
- Lockbox costs $2.99/month (although it’s free with annual purchase)
- Protection plan is $6.99/month, and there are no other warranties
- You must pay three months upfront, even if you select the monthly payment plan
If you need an easy-to-use medical alert system for outside the home, the Medical Guardian Mobile 2.0 is an excellent option. Medical Guardian is one of the few companies we found with a truly all-in-one device for protection while you’re out and about. You can wear the 1.7 ounce Mobile 2.0 device on its detachable lanyard, or easily clip it to your belt or bag. It also comes with a separate help button that you can wear on an included wristband or necklace. All you need to remember is to charge it twice a week and wear it wherever you go.
Another unique benefit of the Medical Guardian Mobile 2.0 is its advanced location monitoring that can connect to 4G LTE, WiFi, and GPS for a faster connection speed. With the included MyGuardian customer portal, you can also set up a network of emergency contacts that can view your location and receive alerts if necessary. Medical Guardian also offers in-home monitoring options.
While there’s a lot to like about Medical Guardian, it hasn’t received the best customer reviews. On Trustpilot, Medical Guardian has 1.3/5 stars with 692 reviews, while on the Better Business Bureau, it has 1.27/5 stars with 71 reviews. Most of the negative reviews mention billing concerns, so if you go with Medical Guardian, be sure to monitor your bill and speak with them right away when you have a concern. They do bill automatically, which can surprise people with annual plans who forget about them.
See our full Medical Guardian Review.
Most Added Perks
- Monthly base cost: $24.95–$64.95 + $10/month fall detection
- Device range: Home unit up to 600 feet (landline) or 1,400 feet (cellular)
- Connection type: Landline or cellular
- $5/month warranty includes discounts on accessories and other add-ons
- MobileVitals Duo tracks blood pressure, weight, and more
- Add a partner to your in-home plan for $2/month
- Optional medication reminders and activity tracking for $5/month each
- Free lockbox and activation with every order
- Touch service brings an easy-to-use interface and extras like cognitive games
- U.S.-based monitoring
- Risk-free 30-day trial
- In-home, on-the-go, or combination packages
- You do not pay for the equipment
- Must carry both Mobile Device and pendant or bracelet for fall detection with on-the-go plans
- MobileHelp Connect portal costs $60/year
- Fall detection add-on isn’t available for landline service
- In-home mobile unit isn’t waterproof, so you must use a waterproof button when showering or in the rain
- $49.95 processing fee for the MobileHelp Classic system, but no fee on the other seven plans
- Short (two-day) Mobile Device battery life
MobileHelp has some of the most extensive add-ons and unique perks. Optional services like medication reminders, activity tracking, and health tracking may benefit seniors who do well with more advanced devices—just keep in mind that these are add-ons that cost $5/month each.
Another feature that makes MobileHelp an innovative option is their MobileHelp Touch plans with touchscreen tablets instead of traditional in-home base systems. The tablets are interactive and easy to read, so you can check your activity levels, play brain games, or even add photos of your family to play on a loop when it’s charging. You can add an automatic fall detection button to your plan that can send an alert even when you can’t press the button yourself.
MobileHelp offers various in-home, on-the-go, and combination systems, making it work for people in most situations. We also recommend MobileHelp for active couples thanks to the Duo Mobile plan. With Duo Mobile, you and your partner have individual systems, so you’re both protected when away from your home. At $44.95/month, this partner option saves money compared to most medical alert device companies that require you to purchase two individual plans for similar coverage.
See our full MobileHelp Review.
Most Affordable for Couples
Medical AlertBuy Now
- Monthly base cost: $22.95–$42.95 + $10/month fall detection
- Device range: Home unit up to 800 feet
- Connection type: Landline or cellular
- 30-day risk-free trial
- Discounts for paying semi-annually or annually
- Simple, straightforward plans that make it easy to choose
- Long (five-day) battery life for the Mobile System
- Free caregiver app
- U.S.-based call centers
- 30-hour backup battery for the home system
- Affordable $5/month protection plan
- Add spouse to Home System for just $5 for the pendant or bracelet, no monthly fee
- No add-ons like medication reminders or activity tracking
- Lockbox is $2.99/month unless you pay annually
- Must have primary device and pendant for on-the-go fall detection
- 1.14/5 reviews on Better Business Bureau for parent company Connect America
If you and your partner are both looking for a fall detection system, Medical Alert’s plans are some of the most affordable. There is no monthly fee to add a second wearable button to protect your spouse with the Home System. And if you pay for a full six or twelve months, you’re both covered for as little as $19.95/month.
Keep in mind that you would have to purchase two Mobile System plans for each of you to have protection outside the home. Most companies, including Medical Alert, do not have plans with more than one wireless device.
Because Medical Alert has very few add-ons, the pricing is straightforward, and the total cost of plans makes them one of the more affordable options. There is an optional $5/month protection plan for your devices, along with a $2.99/month lockbox fee unless you pay annually. And, as with most companies, fall detection costs an additional $10/month.
See our full Medical Alert Review.
Bay Alarm MedicalBuy Now
- Monthly base cost: $21.95–$49.95 + $10/month fall detection
- Device range: Home unit up to 1,000 feet
- Connection type: Landline or cellular
- 30-day risk-free trial
- Stylish necklace charms and Smartwatch options
- No monthly fee for adding a spouse to the in-home plan
- Discounted rate for adding a spouse to the GPS Mobile Help service
- Price reduction for in-home plus on-the-go coverage
- Excellent third-party customer reviews
- Free caregiver app
- U.S-based monitoring call centers
- All-in-one device for protection outside the home
- Smartwatch battery only lasts one day
- Minimal add-ons, so no medication reminders
- Lockbox costs $30, and shipping is not free
- Must bundle Smartwatch and in-home coverage for fall detection with the Smartwatch
- Some plans require initial equipment fees
We also recommend Bay Alarm Medical because we love the style of its products. There are optional Bella Charms that you can clip to the back of certain necklace buttons and an SOS Smartwatch option for anyone who would like something a bit more familiar.
With the SOS Smartwatch, you even have a built-in step tracker. But know that the base Smartwatch model isn’t compatible with fall detection. You would need to purchase the Smartwatch and in-home bundle to qualify for a fall detection button, making it a pretty expensive monthly option at $41.95 plus the $10/month fall detection. And the Smartwatch also has a limited battery life of only one day, so you need to charge it nightly.
Bay Alarm Medical is also a good fit for couples. With the in-home alert systems, you can receive free monthly monitoring for a second help button. You only pay a $35 one-time fee for the second button itself. And if you want to add your spouse to the GPS plan that protects you outside of your home, you pay a $20/month additional fee rather than both of you needing to pay for a $29.95/month plan. Bay Alarm Medical’s Mobile Help button is also a stand-alone device, so you don’t need to carry two pieces of equipment with you when you leave home.
See our full Bay Alarm Medical Review.
Best for In-Home Protection
- Monthly base cost: $21.95–$39.95 + $10/month fall detection
- Device range: Home Unit up to 800 feet
- Connection type: Landline or cellular
- Excellent customer reviews on Trustpilot
- Voice-activated wall buttons
- Optimized for in-home use
- U.S.-based monitoring centers
- Affordable in-home landline and cellular options
- GPS button has fall detection capabilities, so it’s an all-in-one device
- No wearable buttons required for in-home use without fall detection
- Expensive for on-the-go plans with GPS buttons
- Costs more than most plans to add fall coverage for a spouse
- Every plan has an initial equipment fee
- There are few add-ons or perks
- No discounts for spousal coverage on out-of-home plans
- $5/month for caregiver app
- All plans are not displayed online, so you must call for complete information
If you want to make sure your entire home is covered, GetSafe is a solid option. GetSafe’s primary plan utilizes various voice-activated buttons around the home, so you don’t have to wear a wristband or pendant unless you want to. Just keep in mind that you must use the wearable button if you want automatic fall detection.
GetSafe voice-activated wall buttons enable you to connect with a live operator even if you cannot reach the wall-mounted unit. These units also have pull cords that can connect you with the call center.
Because GetSafe service is designed to cover your entire home for pendant-free use, there is more equipment than with traditional wearable plans. You’ll have the in-home base unit along with traditional and voice-activated wall buttons that you place strategically around the home. This does translate into a higher cost to start with GetSafe because you pay for this equipment upfront.
GetSafe also offers on-the-go plans with GPS-activated buttons. However, these plans cost a bit more than similar services from most of the other companies that we reviewed. We primarily recommend GetSafe to customers who want protection at home.
What Is Fall Detection?
Automatic fall detection is an optional feature available on most Medical Alert Systems (MAS), also known as personal emergency response systems. With a wearable MAS, users wear a button with motion-sensing technology on their wrist or as a necklace.
In case of a fall, the button sends a signal to a monitoring center, where a representative attempts to make contact to see if you’re okay. If you don’t respond or are hurt and need help, the representative contacts emergency services and directs them to your location.
How Accurate Is Fall Detection?
Medical alert systems with automatic fall detection are not 100% accurate, and the accuracy varies from one company to another. In a 2015 study published in the journal Gerontology, researchers sought to determine the accuracy of wearable fall detection devices in real life. The devices detected 12 out of 15 falls, with about one false alarm fall—a detected fall that didn’t happen—every 40 hours.
Keep in mind that this study only looked at one device, and MAS companies are continually trying to improve technology to detect falls accurately and send fewer false alarms. When a system detects a fall, an operator first tries to contact you before reaching out to emergency personnel. Your base unit at home or primary wireless unit when away will have a two-way speaker, so be sure to answer if you can when an agent reaches out to you whether or not you need help at that moment.
Why Is Fall Detection Important?
While all medical alert systems have a button that you can activate in the case of a fall or other emergency, you may not always be able to press the contact button.
“Medical alert systems with fall detection can ensure a senior receives care when they fall, even if they lose consciousness or fail to remember to activate the alert system. They’re best for individuals with dementia who may forget to activate the emergency alert if they fall,” explains Melanie Musson, a senior health expert with InsuranceProviders.com.
So if you or a loved one are at a high risk of falling, have memory impairment or movement difficulties, automatic fall detection may be the right option.
MAS have a monthly fee that varies based on the type of system, features, and the company you choose. Here’s a summary of the price for different systems and features.
- In-home units: These MAS are best for at-home protection. Units connected to landlines are usually the most affordable, costing roughly $20–$30/month. Those that utilize cellular networks typically cost around $5 more per month.
- GPS systems: Also known as on-the-go devices, GPS units go with you when you leave home. These are more expensive and have a greater variety of options, but you can expect a monthly fee of around $30–$45.
- Combination systems: These include in-home units and GPS on-the-go devices and have a price point of roughly $40–$65/month.
- Fall detection: With most brands, fall detection is an optional feature that costs $10/month per person, whether inside or outside of the home. On occasion you may find fall detection included in the monthly price or as a $15/month add-on.
- Equipment fees: You might pay upfront for equipment ($0–$200), shipping ($10–$20), a one-time processing or installation fee (varies), or a lockbox fee (one-time or monthly cost). Some companies waive these fees when you start or if you pay annually.
- Add-ons: Some companies offer additional features, most of which cost around $5–$10/month each. These include medication reminders, caregiver apps (which are often free), health monitors, and activity trackers.
- Additional buttons or devices: You might want extra wall buttons or a separate GPS device or fall detection button for your spouse. The cost of these varies, though certain providers offer free monitoring for additional devices.
- Advanced features: Brands may offer Smartwatches, tablets, attractive necklace pendants, or other unique features for an additional fee.
With all of the optional features, there’s no simple answer to how much a medical alert system with fall detection costs. At the low-end, you’re looking at $30/month for in-home protection for one person. At the high-end, you may pay $100/month for both you and your partner. And start-up fees can range from roughly $0 to $250 for most plans.
How to Choose the Best Medical Alert System with Fall Detection for You
Here are the questions you should ask when searching for the right MAS with automatic fall detection:
Where do you want protection?
There are two main types of medical alert systems: in-home and on-the-go systems. The in-home units are the most affordable and are pretty straightforward to use. These typically come with an extended coverage range between 500 to 1,000 feet from the primary console for your wearable device.
On-the-go systems have devices that can connect to cellular networks, WiFi, and GPS to help keep you safe wherever you go. If you live an active life but worry about falls or other medical emergencies, a medical alert system with fall detection and cellular or GPS connection can give you peace of mind to continue to live life the way you want to.
Another option is a combination plan with an in-home unit and a mobile device. These systems allow you to recharge your portable devices when you’re home while still having coverage.
What features appeal to you?
Most MAS are pretty straightforward, with an emergency call button that you wear and optional automatic fall protection. But these aren’t the only features available. For example, some brands have medication reminders, health tracking, and activity tracking.
Another useful feature is a caregiver portal that allows family and friends to monitor what’s going on and update things like emergency contacts. We love caregiver apps for mobile systems as they often allow family members to see where you are, giving you an extra level of comfort. It’s also an important feature that can help you learn how to use your system.
Is cost a deciding factor?
In-home units are the most affordable, and the fewer add-ons, the less a system costs. But if you want a robust system that works both in-home and on-the-go and that comes with lots of features, expect to pay for it. You should also ask about initial fees like equipment, shipping, setup, or a lockbox.
Do you need coverage for your spouse?
Most in-home units have a comparable price, whether it’s just for one person or two. But if you want on-the-go coverage for both of you, only certain companies provide discounts for couples. These include MobileHelp and Bay Alarm Medical.
Does the company help in both emergency and non-emergency situations?
Most MAS companies help customers in case of emergencies, like a fall or a fire, and non-emergencies when you need them to contact a family member or neighbor to come help. However, some brands only cover emergencies, so it’s a good idea to check to see what the call center accommodates. All of the companies that made our list help with both emergencies and non-emergencies.
How are the third-party reviews?
Third-party sites like Trustpilot and the Better Business Bureau are valuable resources for evaluating the customer experience of different companies. Customers leave reviews and brands receive an overall rating. You can read the rating and the reviews to see what to expect and to see how the company resolves any complaints.
What’s the cancellation policy, and is there a contract?
Most medical alert system brands provide a risk-free 30-day trial and no contract. But this isn’t the case with every company, so ask about the return policy and contract before committing.
Who Should Use a Medical Alert System With Fall Detection?
“Medical alert systems are generally associated with senior citizens, but they can also be used by anyone at risk of falling or having a medical emergency, regardless of age,” explains Debanjan Banerjee, M.D., Consultant Geriatric Psychiatrist at the National Institute of Mental Health and Neurosciences in Bangalore, India, and one of the consultants at DoctorSpring. Dr. Banerjee adds that anyone with a chronic illness who may require emergency care or special medications could also benefit from a medical alert system in the home.
These systems can also improve the quality of life for seniors. According to Dr. Banerjee, a medical alert system allows older adults to live at home independently and “provides a big assurance to their adult children since their parent has access to immediate help when they fall or suffer a more severe medical emergency.”
He adds that these systems even help with fitness and wellbeing. “Fear of falling will discourage seniors to remain physically active, which can contribute to their functional decline,” says Dr. Banerjee. “With the fall alert system, they can move around without fear knowing help will be on its way swiftly in case something happens,” enabling them to stay more active and physically fit.
Related: How Having a Smart Home Can Help You Maintain Independence
Automatic fall detection can be a useful addition to any medical alert system. By providing an additional layer of safety coverage, these devices help seniors stay independent longer and reduce worries about falls and other injuries.
In our research, five companies stood out. We like Medical Guardian for its ease-of-use, with above-average device ranges for in-home systems and one-piece models for outside the home. For additional technology perks like blood pressure monitoring or medication alerts, MobileHelp may be a better fit.
Our other top picks include Medical Alert, which offers great deals for couples, and Bay Alarm Medical, which has some of the best customer reviews and has been around for more than 70 years. Finally, GetSafe’s voice-activated buttons create a unique wearable-free system for in-home use, but you’ll still need to wear a help button if you want automatic fall detection. Each of these systems can help you live more confidently knowing that you’re protected.
Frequently Asked Questions
Does fall detection work for medical alert systems?
How do medical alert systems detect falls?
Users must wear a button with fall detection technology built-in. The technology includes an accelerometer sensor that monitors movements, detecting abnormal movements that happen when you fall. When the sensor detects a fall, the device signals for a call center representative to contact you and, when necessary, ask emergency services to head to your location.
Does Medicare pay for fall alerts?
Does fall detection work without cellular?
Do any FitBits have fall detection?
Do Apple Watches have fall detection?
Which sensor is used for fall detection?
Medical Alert Systems Covered by Medicare
Medical alert systems can save lives, but Original Medicare doesn’t cover them
Widex Hearing Aids Review
Widex is one of the top hearing aid manufacturers in the world, but does it deserve your time, attention, and money? Learn more about the brand, its models and features, prices, pros and cons, and more to decide if they’re right for you.