Medical alert systems are designed to make calling for help easy, even in situations where a phone isn’t available. These lightweight, user-friendly systems combine a wireless help button with a landline or cellular phone connection linked to a 24/7 call monitoring center. When a medical alert subscriber needs emergency assistance, they simply need to activate their panic button to connect with a trained operator who will assess the situation and dispatch family members, neighbors or first responders.
GPS medical alert systems provide additional peace of mind by ensuring the call monitoring center can pinpoint the location of the caller using advanced GPS technologies. These systems are available in several styles that all use mobile phone networks.
Below you’ll find in-depth information on the three best GPS medical alert systems, along with tips on how to choose the right GPS-enabled personal emergency response device.
With over 7 million subscribers nationwide, Philips Lifeline is one of the largest and most respected providers of monitored medical alert systems. The company was established by a physician in 1974, and all Lifeline systems are proprietary to Philips.
Philips Lifeline GoSafe 2 is a pendant-style medical alert system that’s equipped with five location technologies, including Assisted GPS, which is faster than conventional GPS. The pendant also uses nearby Wi-Fi access points to improve location accuracy, particularly indoors where GPS signals may be poor. The GoSafe2 continuously records the location of subscribers to help determine the direction of travel for use in situations where the subscriber is wandering.
Other features of the GoSafe 2 include a two-way speaker, automatic fall detection and a built-in battery that lasts up to three days per charge. The device is water-resistant, and subscriptions include access to Philips Cares, a secure online hub that provides users with real-time notifications from the call monitoring center.
Costs for the Philips Lifeline GoSafe 2 GPS medical alert system include a one-time $99.95 device purchase fee and either a $19.95 self-installation or $99.95 technician-installation fee. Monthly monitoring fees are $49.95 and include 24/7 monitoring, fall detection and nationwide connection to the AT&T mobile network.
Bay Alarm Medical consistently ranks high for customer satisfaction and affordability, making it one of the most trusted names in the industry. The company operates three independent call monitoring centers, and its medical alert systems are designed and built in the United States.
Bay Alarm Medical is the only company to offer a 4G LTE GPS in-car medical alert device. This innovative system features GPS location tracking, AT&T cellular connection, a speakerphone and a user-activated help button. Also, built-in crash detection sensors automatically trigger a call for help in the event of a car crash.
The device plugs into a 12V outlet in any vehicle, and a built-in back-up battery powers the device even if the vehicle is off. Subscribers have access to a secure smartphone app that can be used to view real-time location information for the device and create driver profiles for use in an emergency. The app can also set up a virtual geofence that alerts authorized users when the Bay Alarm Medical In-Car medical alert device moves outside of a designated area.
The In-Car GPS medical alert system costs $29.95 per month, and it can be paired with a basic in-home medical alert system with a pendant-style help button for $39.95 per month.
Medical Guardian is an American medical alert company that has an A+ rating with the Better Business Bureau. The company’s call monitoring center is UL and TMA five-diamond certified, and call services are available in dozens of languages through a real-time translation provider.
The Medical Guardian Freedom Guardian is a smartwatch-style GPS-enabled medical alert device that works on the AT&T nationwide mobile network. It’s equipped with a GPS locator and Wi-Fi positioning system, a two-way speakerphone to enable communication with the monitoring center and a text-to-speech messaging app that subscribers can use to communicate with members of their Care Circle. There’s also an analog-style watch, local weather app and integrated alert function, which can be used to set medication reminders.
Monthly monitoring fees include access to the Medical Guardian companion mobile app. This app lets authorized users send and receive SMS messages from a Medical Guardian user, program alarms and alerts, and track the location of a user in real time.
Available in black or white, the Freedom Guardian costs $179.95. Monthly monitoring fees are $44.95, and annual monitoring is $494.45 per year.
GPS medical alert systems help reduce response times in an emergency, which can dramatically improve outcomes following a fall, cardiac event or other urgent situation. This location information can be quickly relayed to police, ambulance and fire services, even if the subscriber is disorientated or unable to speak.
Some GPS-enabled medical alert services also offer a caregiver app that lets authorized caregivers and family members track the location of their loved ones through a smartphone or computer. This feature can be particularly helpful for subscribers who have Alzheimer’s disease, dementia or other medical conditions that cause wandering and disorientation.
With dozens of GPS-enabled medical alert systems to choose from, finding the best one can be challenging. Although the wide variety of options can seem overwhelming, remember that the right system can be a lifesaver.
Take the time to read reviews of the various GPS medical alert systems to find out what industry experts and real-world users have to say about the devices, services and medical alert companies. Monthly costs for GPS-enabled monitored personal emergency response systems can range from under $30 to over $70, so be sure to consider your budget before selecting a medical alert system.
Think about the type of medical alert help button you’d prefer. GPS medical alert systems come with either a pendant-style or wrist-mounted panic button that’s either fully self-contained or works in conjunction with a separate cellular phone transmitter unit.
Lastly, be sure to verify that cellular phone service is available in and around the home of the user, as all GPS medical alert systems rely on mobile phone signals. Many providers use the AT&T nationwide mobile network; however, some companies also use Verizon, T-Mobile or Sprint.