Medical Guardian has a medical alert system with automatic fall detection. This means the pendant can detect a fall and contact the monitoring center on its own.
So if you fall and are knocked out or unable to press the panic button, you can still get help fast.
Medical Guardian bills this service as: “The latest, and most exclusive technology on the market, the FallAlert™ fall detection sensors can detect a fall as it is happening and signal our monitoring systems for help automatically. Proven to be the world’s most reliable fall detection solution, FallAlert™ can provide you with the peace of mind that comes with knowing you will receive help should you be unconscious or unable to respond in a medical emergency.”
The pendant can be worn around the neck or clipped to your belt. You can wear it in the shower or the bath; it’s waterproof.
How the automatic fall alert system works: The system includes several accelerometers and a processor. (Accelerometers measure rates of acceleration.) The processor receives information from the accelerometers, and compares the acceleration measurements to a value range to determine if the device is currently falling.
Fall detection can reliably detect both linear and non-linear falls. Non-linear falls are when the fall is accompanied by device rotation or initiated by additional external force. To detect a non-linear fall, the processor compares combinations of acceleration measurements to a value range and further determines the smoothness of the acceleration measurement combinations. If the acceleration measurement combinations are within the value range and are smooth, then a non-linear fall is occurring.
When a fall is detected, the processor provides a fall detection signal to the base station.
Fall detection technology only needs to experience a drop of about 18 inches in order to sense that a fall has occurred, so whether you trip and fall over a buckled rug or fall out of a chair, the sensors will call for help.
What happens after the fall is automatically detected:
It takes about 20 to 30 seconds for FallAlert™ to interpret the data from the accelerometers and determine if an actual fall has occurred. If the processor determines that a fall has happened, it sends a signal to the in-home cellular base station, which will announce, “FALL DETECTED. Press and hold button to cancel.”
(False alarms are a big concern for many people, but as you can see, it’s not hard to cancel them. You just have to hold down the panic button for 5 seconds and the alarm will be cancelled. You’ll know the alarm has been stopped when you hear a series of beeps and the light on the pendant flashes green. You can also cancel the alert by pressing the blue cancel button on the base station.)
If it’s a real emergency and you do not cancel the alarm within 20 seconds, your base station will announce, “FALL DETECTED. Contacting emergency response center… Please stand by for operator.”
Once the system connects you to an operator, which often takes another 30 to 60 seconds, they will ask you if you are okay and if you need help.
If you’re able to speak the operator you can tell him or her what help you need. If you’re unconscious or unable to speak, the emergency operator will automatically send emergency support services to your home.
For best functioning, the pendant should be worn outside your clothes.
What about false alarms?
Medical Guardian reports that 80% of users have no false alarms each month. 10% of people have just one false alarm, and the final 10% experience two or more false alarms.
That’s pretty good.
The Medical Guardian FallAlert™ unit is a solid-performing automatic fall detection medical alert. It’s competitively priced with the few other fall alert systems available. It uses Medical Guardian’s cellular base station, which connects without needing a land line.
Keep in mind, this is still a “speakerphone” model of medical alert, so in order to be able to communicate with the monitoring center you’ll need to be in voice range of the base station.
The battery life is a terrific 18 months, so you don’t have to worry about recharging the unit.
The monthly charge is $44.95, and you can save an entire months’ fee every year by paying a year in advance. Remember, you’ll get back any unused months after 3 months.
Medical Guardian does not have a money back guarantee period, so when you buy you’re committing to at least 3 months of service. But you’re not locked in after that.
In summary, if you’re looking for a medical alert with fall detection, the Medical Guardian unit is a good choice. It’s roughly the same price as the Philips system (but they don’t reveal pricing online or even let you know the details of their terms and conditions, which is a strike against Philips in my book.
Visit Medical Guardian to check out the fall alert medical alarm system. (You might need to scroll to the bottom of the page and look for the link in the footer that says “fall detection.”)