Date Updated: December 23, 2021
Reviewed by: Christopher Norman, GNP
We created this guide to help seniors and their loved ones choose a reputable and affordable medical alert company. Our team spent over 400 hours researching medical alert devices, conducting hands-on testing, and consulting with experts to determine the best medical alert systems available today. Below, we provide details about the top 9 medical alert companies and their devices, explain common medical alert features, offer advice for choosing the right medical alert system, and answer frequently asked questions so you can feel confident you’re choosing the best device for you.
How We Chose the Best Medical Alert Systems
We evaluated 23 medical alert companies for safety, quality of service, and product offerings and consulted with experts to determine our list of the ten best medical alert systems. Companies that we found to have the most comprehensive product offerings, fair prices, and reliable services based on our criteria were included in the below review. The core metrics we considered in our assessment are:
- Device and Feature Availability: Companies should offer a range of medical alert system types and add-on devices. All companies on this list also offer extra features such as automatic fall detection, GPS location tracking, and/or a mobile app for caregivers.
- Costs and Contracts: We did not include companies that charge unnecessary equipment fees or require customers to sign restrictive multi-year contracts.
- Customer Service: All companies must provide live customer service and sales support over the phone or via online chat. We also carefully reviewed online customer testimonials and Better Business Bureau reviews and ratings, and did not include companies with a BBB rating below an A+.
- Monitoring Center Reliability: All companies’ monitoring centers must be third-party certified by an organization such as The Monitoring Association or Underwriter’s Laboratory, and monitoring centers should have a backup power system and/or a backup center where they can divert calls in the event of power outages. A live agent must respond to all emergency calls at the monitoring center- no companies that use an automated answering service were included in this list.
Read our full Methodology for a detailed explanation of how we ranked and chose the nine best medical alert systems.
Expert Reviews of the Best Medical Alert Systems
Bay Alarm Medical currently offers four medical alert systems, including its unique On the Road device for in-car emergency and accident monitoring. All Bay Alarm Medical devices are priced competitively, and customers who have a landline can take advantage of one of the lowest monthly monitoring costs among the top companies we’ve reviewed. Emergency monitoring with Bay Alarm Medical starts at just $21.95 a month with no activation, equipment, or installation fees.
The company is committed to providing excellent customer service, and has a LiveChat box on its website so prospective and existing customers can receive immediate assistance and support. Its U.S.-based customer service team is also available to assist customers via phone seven days a week. Bay Alarm Medical’s Customer Care Consultants undergo rigorous training to ensure that customer experience is positive, pleasant, and consistent.
Why We Chose Bay Alarm Medical
Not only does Bay Alarm Medical offer a suite of affordable, reliable medical alert systems, but it also provides top-notch customer service. The company maintains a Code of Ethics which states that Bay Alarm Medical is “devoted to ensuring [customers’] satisfaction and well being.” Two of its eight ethics standards even focus specifically on customer service. One of these standards is that “Customer Needs Take Priority Over Sales,” proving that Bay Alarm Medical’s customer service team will never intentionally oversell customers on upgraded devices or accessories that they do not truly need.
- Geofencing available
- Monitoring service is available in 170 languages
- On the Road provides excellent coverage for seniors who drive
- Change or cancel plans at any time
- Limited accessories compared to other companies
- Most plans include basic coverage and will cost more as features are added on
Bay Alarm Medical has four different device options, including its unique in-car device:
- In-home: The company’s in-home system is available with a landline or cellular connection. The only difference between the two is the $10 monthly charge for the cellular model. The base unit has an 800-foot range and a backup battery life of 32 hours. The help pendant is waterproof and can be worn around the neck or on the wrist.
- On the Go: Bay Alarm Medical’s mobile device is an all-in-one unit that is typically worn around the neck. The device is water resistant, runs on 4G-LTE cellular network, and has a battery life of 72 hours. On the Go costs $24.95 a month, plus a one-time device purchase fee of $79.99. Fall detection is available for an additional $10 a month.
- On the Road: Bay Alarm Medical is the only company to offer a medical alert device specifically designed for the car. This unit plugs into a cigarette lighter so it never needs to be charged. If you need help, you can press a button on the unit and you will be connected to a live emergency operator. The device will automatically send a signal for help in the event of a crash. On its own, this service costs about $30 a month, but it can be added on to another form of monitoring for only $20 a month.
- SOS Smartwatch: This recently-introduced smartwatch-style device offers the protection and peace of mind that Bay Alarm Medical is known for in a sleek, discreet package. The SOS Smartwatch has an SOS button that connects users to the emergency response center, plus a host of other high-tech features like a step tracker, built-in two-way speaker, and a crystal-clear touchscreen. This device is perfect for those who have a hard time complying with traditional personal emergency response systems, those who already wear a watch regularly, and those simply interested in the device’s many benefits.
Customers can benefit from the extra features and devices offered by Bay Medical Alarm:
- Wall mounted buttons are $2.95 a month or $10 a month for a pack of four.
- Extra wearable help buttons (wristband or lanyard) can be purchased for $1.95 a month.
- A lockbox which allows EMS easy access to a customer’s home can be purchased for $1.95 a month.
- Upgraded, artist-designed pendants for personal help buttons may be purchased for $27.95.
Monitoring and Cellular Provider
Bay Alarm Medical partners with a U.S.-based call center with locations in Utah and Idaho for medical alert monitoring services. The company is UL-listed and 5 Diamond certified.
Bay Alarm Medical cellular devices utilize AT&T’s cellular network to connect with the monitoring centers. They can be used anywhere in the United States that has cellular service.