An Overview of Medical Alert Systems

Medical Alert Systems Overview

At its heart, a medical alert system is a way for a senior to communicate with the outside world in an medical emergency.  It is generally worn somewhere on the body, and has at least one preprogrammed number that can easily be dialed.  All three systems can come with fall detection of some kind.

There are three basic types of medical alert system, depending upon the technology by which the system performs that communication.  Most medical alert systems fall into one of three types--landline, cellular based, or smartphone based.  Each system has pluses and minuses.

  • Landline systems require a base station, and therefore, they're really only able to used in or near the home.  The bonus of a landline system is that landlines tend to be very stable.
  • Cellular based systems allow for greater mobility, but the user must generally pay a fee to keep the system "live".
  • Smartphone systems are usually app based, and as such, they require you to have your phone on your person, which doesn't work well if someone falls in the bathroom or out of bed!

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