Medical Alert has a pretty unimaginative brand name, but who needs creative marketing when you offer a good medical alert system with an excellent emergency call center. In most regards, Medical Alert is like other services we’ve reviewed. The company has the standard in-home landline, in-home cellular, and mobile GPS packages. And the packages include PERS devices that are widely used in the industry, such as the MyTrex MXD3G, which is made by Rescue Touch and features the loudest speakerphone we tested.
However, in our Medical Alert review, we examine how this company offers little beyond the basics. And the limited offerings ensure that this service is essentially a clone of other companies. Still, with very affordable pricing, it stands out from most of the others.
Medical alert systems
Medical Alert’s best package is their in-home cellular package, which features the MyTrex MXD3G. Made by Rescue Touch, this system has a very loud speaker with sometimes excellent audio and sometimes terrible audio. At it’s best, the audio was both loud and clear. At it’s worst, the audio is a garbled mess. The parity in the quality of the MyTrex, and other systems, likely depends on how long the system has circulated. (Each time a customer cancels their subscription, they return the system to Medical Alert. It’s cleaned and sent out to new customers. Over time, you can expect a speaker’s audio quality to deteriorate. If this is the case with your system, we recommend returning it and asking for a new one.)
One of the minor downsides to the Mytrex MXD3G is the short pendant range. While it’s listed to have a range of roughly 600 feet, we averaged 70 feet in our tests. That said, the consistency of the signal was excellent, as it works even with multiple walls and furniture in its way. Also, 70 feet may seem short, but it’s actually plenty of range for most apartments and homes. You might not be able to venture out into the garden, but then again...if your mobility is that good, you should consider the On-the-go GPS medical alert system.
The On-the-go medical alert system is bulky compared to other mobile medical alert systems, and the audio isn’t great. It comes with a wireless pendant, allowing you to use it like an in-home system while it’s charging in the base station.
Medical Alert uses a teardrop shaped fall detection pendant with it’s in-home systems. While these fall detection pendants can sometimes be too sensitive, we found the Medical Alert one to be better than most at detecting falls. It’s still not perfect. And it causes more fall alerts than we’d like but it was significantly better than other fall detection sensors we tested. We love that it detects falls right away, unlike many sensors that call for help after a 30 to 60 second delay. That said, be careful with it. It does detect falls when you haven’t fallen. And if you’re away from the base station, it’s often difficult to know if it’s calling for help.
Emergency response center
In our first round of three-week testing, Medical Alert averaged roughly 78 seconds per call. This was 8 seconds slower than average, making for a very disappointing result when you consider GreatCall averaged 20 seconds per call. However, in the second round of daily three-week tests, Medical Alert averaged around 35 seconds per call. While it was still much slower than GreatCall (which averaged 15 seconds), it was far more competitive. And when every second counts, this matters.
The quality of the emergency call center was good, but not great. Most of the calls were excellent. The operators typically confirmed our identity and asked us multiple times throughout the call if we were okay. However, there were many calls where the operators didn’t follow the same script. Sometimes they assumed we were the person on the account (a potential security risk) and sometimes they failed to ask if we needed help.
Medical alert service
Overall, Medical Alert is as bland as the name. The packages are simple and limited. The customer service is good, but they also don’t seem to go out of their way to help. The marketing isn’t aggressive and they won’t try to sell something you don’t need, but they also lack the educational resources other services provide.
We like that Medical Alert covers your spouse for no extra cost, proving additional pendants with each in-home system. And we also love the 365Access Caregiver App that goes with the On-the-go mobile system, allowing your loved ones to track your location and get alerts if you need help.
If cost matters most to you, then Medical Alert’s basic landline package is your best bet. At $22 per month, it’s one of the most affordable medical alert systems that we’ve reviewed. And with an above-average call response time, it’s an excellent value, despite the aging technology. However, the cost of the other packages is less impressive. At $33 per month for the in-home cellular system, it’s $2 under the market average for a similar package. But by comparison, MobileHelp offers a better in-home cellular system for about $25 per month. At $38 for a mobile system, it’s a few dollars below the market average, but still significantly more expensive than GreatCall’s Lively Mobile ($25 per month).
You can save month by paying in quarterly, semi-annual, and annual payments. On average, this lowered the average monthly cost of each package by roughly $5.62 per month. However, since most companies offer similar savings with bulk payments, the savings are still pretty average.
Just like the bland brand name, Medical Alert simply doesn’t stand out. The packages the company offers are the same as most medical alert companies, and the systems are the same as well. We like that they use the Mytrex MXD3G for their in-home cellular system, as the audio is very loud, but you need to test it to make sure the speaker isn’t worn out. The fall detection pendant is better than most, but still needs refinement.
Overall, if you need a fast emergency response at an affordable price, Medical Alert’s landline system is a great option.