Mobile medical alerts or cell phone medical alerts are the latest advance in medical alert technology.
Most medical alarm companies haven’t changed their systems much since the 1980s. They still depend on the concept of the home-bound senior who is only going to have an emergency within the confines of their home.
It’s a little outdated, don’t you think?
Let’s take the example of my friend Ralph, who is 94 years old and lives by himself in Seattle. He spends most of his time in the house, sure, but he takes a walk every day down to the corner to get the newspaper, and at least once a week he drives across town to his son’s house for dinner. He drives to the grocery store, too.
While it’s true that since he spends the bulk of his time at home this is a likely location for him to get into an emergency situation and need help, his out of the house activities are not exactly 100% safe. I’d like to see him have some kind of personal emergency response system for when he’s out and about.
And that’s for a very old man who doesn’t get out much. Imagine how much more important this is for younger and more fit seniors who are maintaining and active lifestyle despite age and perhaps some physical decline.
This is why I’m glad to see more mobile medical alert and cell phone PERS systems coming onto the market.
The progress still seems painfully slow, but that’s to be expected for an industry that has been resting on past accomplishments for almost 30 years.
The best mobile medical alerts:
In my opinion, the best mobile medical alerts on the market today are being sold by a medical alarm company called LiveWell. You probably haven’t heard of them, because they don’t advertise like the big old-fashioned brands, but they’re worth knowing about.
LiveWell has two mobile systems. The best is the Libris, pictured, which uses both GPS and cellular signals to pinpoint your location. It’s also got automatic fall detection. All for the same price you’d pay for some of the rudimentary mobile medical alerts further down this page.
The second best is their GoMobile Alert, which doesn’t have fall detection but comes in a small, lightweight package and has unbelievable battery life.
Read about LiveWell and their top quality offerings.
My former favorite mobile medical alert:
My FORMER favorite mobile medical alert is the 5Star Responder by GreatCall. This is a one-button unit you carry with you when you’re out of the house. It works anywhere you can get a cell signal. The built-in GPS means it knows exactly where you are. GreatCall encourages people to use the device not just in emergencies. For example, if you’re crossing an icy parking lot you can call the monitoring center and have someone on the link while you’re walking. Or if you get locked out of your car, they can call a locksmith for you. And of course in an emergency they’ll get the right help for you. One added feature of the unit is that if you hold down the button for longer than usual (I think it’s 5 seconds), you’ll be connected directly to 911. This is great in a time-critical emergency. Read more here: https://findtherightalert.com/the-5star-responder-personal-gps-device. The best part is that it’s only $15 a month.
Another option to consider
Jitterbug with 5Star Personal Security. The Jitterbug is a simple but full-featured cell phone with big buttons and a bunch of design tweaks to make it easy to use for people who haven’t owned a cell phone before or who need something less complex that the bloated unit they already have. The 5Star service is a PERS monitoring service that works at home and outside the home. I think it’s a great service: check out my full review. This service basically combines the 5Star Responder service with a cell phone. It’s more expensive than the 5Star Responder alone, but is good if you need a cell phone.
Here are some other mobile devices on the market, but I’m not excited about any of them:
Alert911 by ConnectAmerica. This is a simple “911 only” device without GPS capability. Click for my detailed review of the Alert911. I don’t particularly recommend it.
Lifewatch-USA Cellular Medical Alarm with GPS. This unit dials a dedicated monitoring center, not 911, and the operators can assess your needs and dispatch appropriate help. It sends your GPS location to the monitoring center. Read my detailed review of the Lifewatch Cellular Medical Alarm. More expensive than the 5Star unit, and not as capable, in my opinion, as the units sold by LiveWell.
MobileHelp GPS/Cellular Medical Alert. The MobileHelp unit is an all-in-one monitored solution that consists of a base station and pendant for when you’re in the house and a cellular GPS unit with a single panic button for when you’re out or traveling. It’s a well-designed system that will meet the needs of many. Read my complete review of the MobileHelp GPS/cellular medical alert.
Safeguardian GPS Safety Cell Phone by LifeGuardian. The Safeguardian is advertised as a GPS safety cell phone with 24/7 monitoring. The phone is set up with a one-touch button that calls the monitoring center, but it also works as a cell phone to call other people. You can program in up to 20 numbers that can be dialed by selecting them from the built-in address book. Read the full review of the Safeguardian GPS phone.