Medical Alert Systems – What Are They For & What Do They Cost?

Today, medical alert systems are used more than ever in the US and beyond. You’ve probably heard of them before but may be unsure what exactly they are, how they work, and what they cost.

Read on to find out all of this in addition to other useful points and considerations to make when shopping around for a medical alert system.

What is a Medical Alert System?

There are several different types of medical alert systems, with some being much more sophisticated and technologically advanced than others, but they all aim to help vulnerable people stay safe at home or while on the go.

They aim to achieve this by allowing users to send out a distress signal in the event of an emergency, such as a serious fall, for instance. This message can be relayed to a family member, the authorities or an emergency dispatch center that’s run by a dedicated medical alert systems firm.

They are most often used by old and frail people, but other vulnerable users can also benefit from them.

How Does a Medical Alert System Work?

The most basic systems are simply connected to a landline service which is used to relay the distress signal to a designated person or organization, but some systems use cellular networks and GPS technology.

This is required for mobile systems, so that the user’s exact location can be pinpointed in the event of an emergency while they’re outside their home.

Medical alert systems can also be categorized as monitored or unmonitored. Monitored systems are connected to the company’s 24/7 emergency dispatch center, so you have round the clock access to support if required.

On the other hand, unmonitored systems can only be linked to a designated family member, friend or caregiver.

How Much Do Medical Alert Systems Cost?

Cost varies significantly depending on whether you need a home based or mobile system, and if you want a monitored or unmonitored service.

If you opt for an unmonitored service, you typically just need to pay a one-off fee for the equipment and installation. On the other hand, if you go for a monitored service you’ll need to pay a monthly subscription fee.  

To give you some estimates, a monitored home based system costs around $20-$35 a month. Cellular in-home systems cost around $40-$50 per month.

Mobile medical alert systems are considerably more expensive and you should be prepared to pay circa $60-$75 per month.

It’s always a good idea to shop around and read reviews on medical alert systems before making a purchase.

A Quick Summary

  •   Medical alert systems can be a great way to make vulnerable users safer when at home or on the go.
  •   There are several different types, but they all ultimately aim to allow users to easily send out a distress signal so they can quickly receive assistance.
  •   The most basic systems are simply connected to a landline service, while others use cellular networks and GPS technology.
  •   Monitored systems are connected to a 24/7 emergency dispatch center, while unmonitored systems can only be linked with a designated friend or family member’s phone.
  •   For a monitored system, you’ll need to pay a monthly subscription fee.
  •   As for unmonitored systems, you’ll usually only be charged for the equipment and a one-off setup fee. 

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