Page Reviewed / Updated - October 31, 2020
Medical alert systems can provide peace of mind to the elderly, disabled or who live alone. These systems let users connect with a 24/7 call monitoring center at any time by simply activating a small, wearable button, eliminating the need to dial a phone in an emergency situation.
While most medical alert systems are simply designed to provide users with an easy way to call for help in an emergency, the QMedic medical alert system also includes health monitoring technology designed to identify emerging health issues.
Developed by scientists at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, QMedic uses complex computer algorithms and wearable sensors to monitor user activity levels and track sleep patterns. Changes in activity and sleep patterns are automatically flagged by the QMedic tracking system, triggering a wellness call from QMedic operators and an alert on the QMedic online caregiver dashboard.
QMedic offers two medical alert systems — an in-home Cellular Medical Alert System and a Mobile GPS Medical Alert System. Both of these systems operate on the nationwide AT&T cellular network, and QMedic has two monitoring centers, located in Utah and Idaho. When a QMedic subscriber activates their wearable help button, an emergency operator responds in about 30 seconds.
The in-home system includes a cellular base station equipped with a high-powered speakerphone for two-way conversations between the subscriber and the call monitoring center. The GPS system has a speakerphone built into the wearable all-in-one pendant.
The range between the in-home base unit and the wearable help button is up to 1000 feet, which provides ample coverage in most apartments and small-to-medium homes. Since the GPS Mobile pendant includes a cellular transponder, the device works anywhere within AT&T's nationwide mobile network.
It's important to note that, unlike many other medical alert systems, automatic fall detection isn't available with QMedic.
|At-Home Cellular||GPS Mobile|
|Help button||Pendant or wrist-mounted||Pendant|
|Speakerphone||On base unit||In pendant|
|GPS location tracking||No||Yes|
|24/7 activity monitoring||Yes||Yes|
|Battery (in help button)||Long-lasting, non-rechargeable||User-rechargeable every 14 days or less|
What makes QMedic stand out is the company's activity monitoring feature. Each QMedic wearable device is equipped with sensors that constantly send information about the user's activity levels to the QMedic monitoring center. Over time, the QMedic system learns the routines and patterns of each user, and if there are notable changes to sleep and activity patterns, the QMedic system initiates a wellness call to the subscriber.
QMedic subscriptions also include access to a secure online caregiver dashboard that gives authorized family members and caregivers real-time information about the QMedic user's activity levels. The dashboard also allows for location tracking of subscribers who use the GPS Mobile system. The QMedic dashboard documents all calls to the monitoring center, and it can be used to update account information.
QMedic's billing is either monthly or annually. Plans include the use of QMedic's medical alert hardware, 24/7 activity monitoring, access to the caregiver dashboard and 24/7 call response through a monitored medical alert call center.
The At-Home Cellular system, which includes an in-home cellular base unit paired with the subscriber's choice of a wrist or pendant-style button, costs $30 per month or $300 per year. Annual subscribers save $5 per month compared to the monthly subscription plan.
The Mobile GPS Medical Alert System costs $45 per month or $400 per year. Annual subscribers save about $6.67 per month off the monthly subscription plan price.
QMedic medical alert systems offer a number of advantages over other personal emergency response systems, especially for subscribers who have complex medical issues or who live alone.
Why isn't automatic fall detection available on QMedic systems?
According to QMedic, current fall detection systems aren't 100% accurate and can actually decrease user compliance. The company is currently evaluating fall detection technology and may add this feature at some point in the future.
Where is QMedic based?
QMedic is headquartered in Boston, Massachusetts, and the company's two call monitoring center are located in Idaho and Utah.
Do QMedic users need an AT&T mobile account?
No. Both the in-home base unit and the mobile GPS unit include a cellular SIM card activated on the AT&T nationwide mobile network, and wireless charges are included in the monthly and annual QMedic subscription fees.
Can a second help button be added to the in-home system?
Yes. Subscribers can add an extra wrist-mounted or pendant-style help button for $10 per month, although it's important to note that the second button doesn't support QMedic's sleep and activity monitoring.
Does the battery in the in-home help button need recharging or replacing?
No. QMedic constantly monitors the battery status, and when the battery is depleted, QMedic sends a replacement help button at no additional cost to the user.