Medical Alerts Systems: The Basics
A medical alert system is a communication product and service designed to quickly connect a vulnerable user to a live, emergency response team.
A medical alert package will typically consist of two primary features:
- Alert Technology - Medical alert systems always include emergency alert technology. These devices typically come in packages of two: 1) a hub device that connects the user’s wearable technology to a landline or an internet connection and 2) a wearable emergency button that can instantly contact a monitoring team.
- 24/7 Monitoring - When a medical alert device is activated, users connect with a live, 24/7 monitoring team. The emergency monitoring team will ask the user what happened, what kind of help they need, and who they would like to contact. Depending on the situation, a monitoring team member may notify emergency services, call a close family member or friend, or simply talk the user through the experience.
What Kinds of People Would Benefit from a Medical Alert System?
The ideal medical alert user may be an older person, a person with disabilities, or someone vulnerable to hazards such as falling or atypical forgetfulness.
Customers often shop for medical alert systems for their own use, but you can also purchase systems for a loved one or friend.
Types of Medical Alert Technology
Medical alert technology comes in a few different forms, depending on its purpose:
- Hub Device - The “brain” of a medical alert system, the hub device uses a landline or wifi connection to enable a customer to access emergency services. The hub device itself often includes an emergency alert button and two-way audio for speaking with a monitoring team.
- Wearable Pendant - Often worn as a necklace or bracelet, pendants feature an emergency contact button and two-way audio for speaking to monitoring services. Pendants can often be worn more than 1,000 feet from a hub system, allowing the user to freely walk around their home and yard while still retaining their protection.
- Smartwatch - A smartwatch is a wearable emergency alert device with a host of additional features. Many smartwatches can make phone calls, send and receive simple text messages, track location with GPS, show the weather, and set reminders.
- Mobile Hub Device - A mobile hub device is the on-the-go version of the hub device described above. Designed for users who often leave the house, a mobile home device can connect customers to emergency services from almost anywhere. Mobile hub devices also tend to include GPS tracking for additional, built-in safety.
- Fall Detection Device - A fall detection pendant—usually offered as an add-on feature—automatically alerts monitoring services when a user suffers a fall. Although it sounds similar to a wearable pendant, fall detection devices have the benefit of not requiring the user to push a button after falling.
- Emergency Button - An emergency button—usually offered as an add-on feature—can contact monitoring teams with a simple press. Great for bedsides, shower walls, or other high-risk areas, users can also affix an emergency button to a wall or table for semi-permanent installation.
- Lockbox - A lockbox —usually offered as an add-on feature—is an outdoor container secured by a simple combination lock. Lockboxes are a secure way to store small, important objects such as house keys.
The Benefits of Using a Medical Alert System
Medical alert systems provide a variety of benefits and functions. Medical alert systems can:
- Provide Life-saving Emergency Response: If you or a loved one have an emergency, a medical alert system’s near-instant response could provide life-saving help.
- Notify Family Members of an Accident: If an accident does occur, family members can be notified immediately with a call from emergency monitoring personnel.
- Boost Independence: Medical alert systems can help users live more independently. If a vulnerable user lives mostly on their own; they can continue to garden, shower, and perform other activities thanks to the added safety net of an emergency alert system.
- Travel with Ease: If you or a loved one enjoy leaving your home, but still need support in case of an emergency, mobile alert technology can let you have the best of both worlds.