Best Medical Alert Bracelets

Medical Care Alert is the best medical alert bracelet

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Emergency bracelets are—as the name suggests—bracelets that wearers can use to signal for help during a dangerous situation. Imagine that you live alone, and you’ve broken a bone after you’ve stumbled down the stairs. Thanks to your medical alert bracelet, you could be connected to life-saving emergency dispatchers. 

The best medical alert bracelets are easy to set up, wear, and use. Most of these bracelets are created specifically for elderly users, but they can also be helpful for children or people who have disabilities or chronic illnesses. For example, some of these alert systems detect when you’ve fallen down and, in case you are unconscious, can automatically call a dispatcher. Other systems can help you with everyday tasks like reminding you to take your medicine or go to doctor appointments. 

We compared some of the most popular medical alert bracelets and determined which was the best of the best based on affordability, sense of style, ease of use, and other important factors. 

Best Medical Alert Bracelets of 2022

Best Overall : Medical Care Alert


Medical Care Alert

Medical Care Alert

Key Specs
  • Price for home monitoring: $30 - $35 
  • Connection: 4G, Wifi GPS
  • Fall Detection: Yes 
  • In-Home Range: 1000 feet 
Why We Chose It

Medical Care Alert outshined its competition because it has a strong warranty program, allows users to add additional buttons in the same household without extra monitoring fees, and has extended battery life.

Pros & Cons 
Pros
  • 100% lifetime replacement policy

  • 72-hour backup battery 

  • Easy set up 

  • Free location tracking app for caregivers

Cons
  • Some products require a landline connection

  • No integration with third-party apps like Alexa or Google Home 

  • Mobile-connected devices are not compatible with Vonage, Dish Satellite phones, or some other carriers. 

Overview

Medical Care Alert is also known as American Response Technologies and was founded in 2008. The Michigan-based company originally offered home security services, but it shifted to medical alert products. Medical Care Alert combines practical hardware with some impressive, low-cost services. 

The base unit is not particularly stylish, but it is easy to use. It has a large red button that reads “HELP” and a speaker box. But the actual, wearable portion of the device is much more discrete. Customers can also purchase a pendant cover to disguise the button as a piece of stylish jewelry. Underneath its appearance, the devices are shower-safe and have long battery life. The rechargeable home buttons can stay charged for up to 30 days. Plus, they’re backed with a lifetime warranty.

Other than durability, Medical Care Alert also provides several perks at no additional cost; automatic fall detection, voice recognition, coverage for additional household members, an app that lets you connect with a caregiver or loved one, and a key lockbox. 

Plans & Pricing

Some companies, like Medical Care Alert, charge an initial fee for the home button and bracelet. Then, emergency response service coverage is an additional monthly fee.

The device prices for Medical Care Alert buttons include: 

  • The home wall-mounted button is $39.95 
  • Buttons that you can wear around your wrist or neck are $29.95 
  • Jewelry pendant holder comes in at $49.95 

Customers can choose between mobile monitoring costs, home monitoring costs, or both. Home monitoring starts at $29.95 a month. Additional coverage to include your home and yard is $34.95 a month. Mobile monitoring is helpful if you want to be able to connect with your caregivers or emergency services when you’re outside of your home. This GPS-compatible alert monitoring starts at $39.95 a month. 

Best for Seniors : Medical Guardian


Medical Guardian logo

Medical Guardian

Key Specs
  • Price for home monitoring: $30 - $35 a month
  • Connection: 4G, Wifi, GPS
  • Fall Detection: Yes
  • In-Home Range: 1,400 feet
Why We Chose It 

We selected this company as Best for Seniors because the devices are simple to use but aesthetically pleasing, and Medical Guardian makes it easy for seniors to connect with their loved ones and caregivers.

Pros & Cons
Pros
  • Emergency and nonemergency services

  • An impressive in-home range of 1,400 feet 

  • A limited insurance policy covers your device for one year 

Cons
  • Devices are not as affordable as other options

  • Not HIPAA compliant 

  • Terms and conditions not easy to navigate

Overview

Medical Guardian is based in Philadelphia and was founded in 2005. This service is ideal for seniors wanting to stay connected to caregivers and loved ones thanks to the Care Circle that links to four contacts. Another great feature is that there is no extra monitoring charge for spouses or partners in the same home, including assistance with emergency and non-emergency calls to Medical Guardian.

A standout feature of Medical Guardian’s call center is that, unlike many other medical alert services, it supports non-emergency calls. For example, a senior can ask the Medical Guardian responders to contact caregivers or nearby loved ones included in their “Care Circle” comprised of four non-emergency contacts. However, if a senior is having a more serious emergency, Medical Guardian can also dispatch paramedics, police, or firefighters to the senior’s home. 

Medical Guardian offers many add-on services to expand coverage. These add-ons carry their own charges, but some people may want to customize their alert system with these options. Customers can opt into a Support Circle App with chat messaging and calendar reminders. For extra peace of mind, Medical Guardian also offers a second home unit that is always ready to use because it does not need to be recharged. This Alert911 unit connects to a cell signal and contacts 911 operators with a click of a button. 

Plans & Pricing

Medical Guardian offers several reasonable monthly home and mobile monitoring plans, and customers can ask about how to get a free Classic Guardian button when they sign up for services. However, customers should plan to budget for the additional costs of add-on services. 

If you want to complement the Classic Guardian with other tools, you can expect to pay between $130 and $200. For example–the MGMove smartwatch costs $199.95. A more basic, portable button that you can wear as a keychain or pendant like the Mini Guardian or the Mobile 2.0 cost between $124.95 and $149.95. 

A basic home monitoring plan begins at $29.95 a month, and mobile monitoring costs $39.95 a month. Additionally, customers should be aware of other potential fees. Premium features on the app cost $5 a month. A lockbox can add security and convenience, but it includes a $2.99 monthly charge. 

Best for Coping With a Chronic Illness : LifeStation


LifeStation logo

LifeStation

Key Specs
  • Price: $30 - $44 a month
  • Connection: Depending on the device, connections include 3G/4G, Wifi, GPS, and Bluetooth 
  • Fall Detection: Yes
  • In-Home Range: Depending on the device, 400 - 1000 feet 
Why We Chose It 

LifeStation is a great option for people who live with chronic illnesses. Their monitoring plans are affordable, but LifeStation really shines for its PAPA Pals program and Uber Health partnership that assists with everyday errands and transportation. 

Pros & Cons
Pros
  • Lightweight units 

  • A backup battery that lasts for up to 32 hours 

  • Rideshare service includes for errands 

  • Equipment is free when you sign up for a monitoring plan

Cons
  • A limited range from the home unit when compared to other alert systems

  • A $3.99 extra monthly fee for an extra help button 

  • Must call the customer service line for info about plans and prices 

Overview

Living with a chronic illness can be exhausting, and it can be difficult to balance important tasks like medical appointments, grocery shopping, and monitoring your wellness. Founded in 1977, LifeStation is a mainstay in the medical alert business. The company sets itself apart from the competition by offering helpful nonemergency services. LifeStation medical alert bracelets are not just for emergency situations. They are also helpful organizational tools to track your heart rate, remind you of appointments, book an Uber for you, and even connect you with companions to assist you during your errands. 

LifeStation provides the actual equipment (like buttons) for free, and customers can choose which monitoring plans best fit their needs. The featherlight pendant button is not much larger than a quarter, and it can be worn either as a necklace or as a bracelet. This button can connect to the in-home unit up to 600 feet away. If you live in a larger home, you can install extra buttons in other rooms to ensure that no matter where you are in their house, your pendant can still connect to a base unit.

These buttons can also be a good choice for a chronically ill person who wants a button that fits with their fashion sense and their budget. The Luxury button pairs with a small mobile unit that you can slip into your pocket or your purse. The jewelry comes in a variety of necklace options, so it could provide an added sense of security for those who travel or commute to work. 

Plans & Pricing

LifeStation offers mobile and at-home monitoring policies. The prices for these different plans start at the following:

  • In-Home Medical Alert system is $32.95 per month
  • Sidekick Mobile Alert button pendant is $37.95 per month
  • Sidekick Smart smartwatch = $43.95 per month 
  • Luxury jewelry pendant with a small, mobile unit = $43.95

Customers will need to call a company representative to get a more personalized quote and to sign up for a monitoring plan. 

Best for Fall Protection : GetSafe


GetSafe

GetSafe

Key Specs
  • Price for home monitoring: Starts at $25 a month
  • Connection: 4G LTE
  • Fall Detection: Yes
  • In-Home Range: Depending on the device, 400-1000 feet 
Why We Chose It 

GetSafe helps protect you where falls are most likely to happen with shower-safe water-resistant buttons, additional coverage for the high-risk rooms in your home where falls happen most, and voice recognition. 

Pros & Cons
Pros
  • Plans can be customized for homes of all sizes and floorplans 

  • You can use voice-activated commands or a pull cord to call for help

  • Fall detection prioritized

Cons
  • Hard-to-find information on the website

  • Wall buttons use C batteries instead of a rechargeable option

Overview

Many medical alert businesses prioritize their travel-ready pendant buttons or wearable devices, unfortunately, some customers may forget to wear their medical alert bracelet each day, or they may not want to always wear an alert button when they’re in their own home. GetSafe, founded in 2015, aims to provide alert services without the customer always having to wear a button by relying on voice recognition. So if you’ve fallen or been injured, you can activate the wall-mounted device in your room by repeating “Call 911” two times. 

Your plan will depend on the size of your home. The Starter plan provides one sensor for your wall and a pendant button for you to wear, so this basic plan is geared toward people who live in studio apartments or other small living spaces. Customers can upgrade based on how many wall buttons they need to keep in different rooms of their home. 

GetSafe earned our vote for Best for Fall Protection because the company advises customers to place buttons around their home in strategic spots where a fall may occur. On their website, GetSafe posts pictures of buttons affixed at the bottom of a set of stairs, in a hallway near a bathroom, and in a kitchen. These locations are some of the most common places where a person could fall or accidentally hurt themselves. 

Sometimes, a person may be injured, unconscious, or otherwise unable to speak loudly enough to trigger their GetSafe system. To account for this possibility, some of the GetSafe systems use automatic fall detection. For example, if you suddenly stumble to the ground and you stop moving, the GetSafe alert system can automatically connect you with a dispatcher. 

Plans & Pricing

GetSafe provides three plans: Starter, Standard, and Select. All of these plans provide a pendant button and share the same fee for 24/7 home monitoring service costs $27.95 a month.

The major price discrepancies boil down to the one-time equipment costs. With a Starter plan, you’ll pay $79 for one base unit and one wall button. The Standard Option is $193 and comes with one base unit, two voice-activated buttons, and one standard wall button that you can push during an emergency. Select is the ideal plan for people who have large homes or who want to install wall buttons in multiple rooms. You can expect to pay $307 for one base unit, 3 voice-activated buttons, and two standard wall buttons. 

Customers can purchase additional wall buttons for $2 each per month.

Best for Most Affordable : LifeFone


LifeFone Medical Alert System logo

LifeFone Medical Alert System

Key Specs
  • Price for home monitoring: $25 - $37 a month 
  • Connection: Landline, GPS, 5G
  • Fall Detection: Yes
  • In-Home Range: 1400 feet
Why We Chose It 

LifeFone impressed us with its transparent pricing policies, affordable basic plans, and additional add-ons like daily check-in phone calls. There are also customized procedures that instruct LifeFone on who should be contacted for a customer in different non-emergency and emergency situations. 

Pros & Cons
Pros
  • Company does not sell your personal data to third parties

  • No upfront cost for your equipment and free shipping

  • Very fast 15 seconds response time

  • Certified dispatchers with first aid training

Cons
  • Extra fee for Caregiver app

  • Limited language translation options 

  • Additional charge for wall-mounted buttons

Overview

LifeFone was established in 1976, and it's well-established in the medical alert business. The company specializes in straightforward, affordable devices—all backed by a lifetime warranty. 

Despite LifeFone’s low prices, their alert systems have some impressive details. Customers need only to pay for the subscription charge since LifeFone provides a variety of medical alert devices (and shipping) for free. The base-level pendant has a whopping 30 days of battery life, and it can easily be recharged overnight. Customers can also rest assured that LifeFone won’t sell their data to third-party sources. 

LifeFone could be a good option for people who want to try out a medical alert bracelet without investing in extra bells and whistles. These devices will go a long way in covering most users’ at-home monitoring needs. For example, all of LifeFone’s systems come equipped with voice recognition so customers can call out for help if they’re not wearing their pendant button. Another perk is that all of the devices are safe to use in the shower – a much-needed feature since bathrooms are one of the most common sites where seniors fall and injure themselves.

While LifeFone is a great starter system for someone who needs coverage in their home, it may not be the best choice for everyone. Some tech-savvy customers might be frustrated that they can’t pair their alert system with their other smart devices. LifeFone devices do not integrate with other programs like Spotify, Google Home, smart watches, or Alexa. 

Plans & Pricing

Mobile monitoring plans start at $39.95 a month, and the home monitoring plan is slightly cheaper at $36.95 a month. If customers do not have a landline at home, they should make sure to request a mobile-friendly base system. 

LifeFone offers additional services that include: 

  • Access to the caregiver app for between $6-$19 a month 
  • A lockbox for a one-time fee of $30 
  • Recurring fall detection for $5 a month 
  • Extra wall-mounted buttons for $40 each 

Best for Ease of Use and Best for Style : BlueStar Senior Tech


BlueStar Senior Tech

BlueStar Senior Tech

Key Specs
  • Price for home monitoring: Starts at $30 - $35 a month
  • Connection: Bluetooth, 4G
  • Fall Detection: Yes
  • In-Home Range: 600 feet+
Why We Chose It 

BlueStar Senior Tech is designed for elders, and it’s easy to set up and use. Customers can keep in touch with loved ones via seamlessly integrated features like the included caregiver app and GPS monitoring. 

Pros & Cons
Pros
  • 24/7 monitoring is included

  • Some in-home devices are free with subscription 

  • Monthly, quarterly, and yearly payment plans

  • Helpful online guides to assist with setting up your device 

Cons
  • Some medical alert devices are more expensive than comparable options

  • Few style options

  • No voice recognition 

Overview

BlueStar Senior Tech was founded in 2013, and it is a veteran-owned company. It earned our vote as Best for Ease of Use because its website has clear and transparent comparisons between its medical alert products, and the devices are intuitive to use.

Unlike some other companies, BlueStar has a limited selection with only two alert devices: a watch and a pendant. Some customers can feel overwhelmed with all of their options when they consider what kind of medical alert pendant or bracelet they should buy. BlueStar makes these choices easier with a comparison chart. This chart breaks down the stats of their watch and their pendant to show consumers which device is best to wear in their home, which is best to wear on the go, and how you should wear the devices on your body. Both of the devices have similar safety features like two-way voice communication during emergency calls and access to the mobile caregiver app. 

The Ranger 4G is a pendant that you can wear as a keychain, necklace, or strapped on your wrist. The device is free when customers sign up for a subscription plan. This pendant is a simple black button, but BlueStar also offers a fashionable wristwatch that would look at home in any business meeting.

The BellPal model earned our spot for Best in Style because it is disguised as a classic watch. While many other companies offer smartwatch-style designs, the BellPal is unique. It appears like a standard analog watch with a streamlined design that fits both men’s and women’s style. The watches are made with high-quality materials. Two styles, the Executive and Ocean, feature genuine leather straps in either brown or blue. The other two options, the Pearl Steel and Rose Gold, have pearl faces and steel bands. But beneath this elegant facade, the BellPal is a powerful safety tool that connects to the BlueStar safety app via your phone. 

A major difference between the Ranger 4G and the BellPal is the battery life. The Ranger 4G needs to be recharged after two days of use, whereas the BellPal has a battery capacity of six months.

BlueStar makes it easy to alert family members about an emergency. The included caregiver app automatically contacts those connected in the app to let them know your location and that you have triggered the alarm system. As you receive support, your caregivers and loved ones also get regular updates. 

Plans & Pricing

The BellPal has an upfront cost of $199.95 and a monthly monitoring charge of $9.95 a month. The Ranger 4G is free with a subscription plan that starts at $31.95 a month.

Fall detection is an included feature with the BellPal, but it costs an additional $5 a month for Ranger 4G users. Nonetheless, this extra fall detection charge is still competitive in comparison to other medical alert companies that also charge for fall detection as an add-on service.

Best for Kids : Florida Telehealth


Florida Telehealth

Florida Telehealth

Key Specs
  • Price: $29 - $74 a month
  • Connection: Cellular, GPS
  • Fall Detection: Yes
  • In-Home Range: Not applicable 
Why We Chose It 

Florida Telehealth’s RescueTouch medical alert pendants are great for kids because they include bright colors, a keychain that’s perfect to attach to backpacks, and a durable design that can withstand rough-and-tumble playdates.

Pros & Cons
Pros
  • Does not need a home base to use the pendant 

  • Chat Twin Pack bundle provides devices and coverage for two different people

  • Parents can speak to their children through VoiceConnect on the device

  • SOS feature automatically sends a message to the child’s chosen contacts

Cons
  • No voice recognition

  • Doesn’t integrate with other apps or smart devices like Alexa or Google Home

  • Subscribers are responsible for testing their devices weekly

  • Website provides limited guidance about how to set up or troubleshoot the device

Overview

Medical alert pendants are often advertised to elders, but children can also benefit from these med buttons. RescueTouch is a product from Florida Telehealth, a company that was founded in 2017, that is proving kids can benefit from these life-saving devices as well. Smartwatches or cell phone tracking apps can help parents keep tabs on their kids, but these devices can also be distracting to children. Fortunately, with RescueTouch, users do not need a cell phone to use this GPS-enabled pendant.

Imagine the device as a kind of walkie-talkie. Kids and parents can talk to each other with the button, and kids can send group alert messages to a limited number of contacts. With these simple-to-use features, RescueTouch gives kids a direct line to 911 or their parents in case of an emergency. 

Many alert pendants only work when they’re within range of a home base system. However, RescueTouch is perfect to use at school or sports practice because it does not need a landline connection. The RescueTouch has an unlimited range, so children can connect to emergency services or their parents anywhere, at any time. What’s more, their friends, teachers, and coaches can as well in a serious emergency.

Customers will need to choose between different subscription options for the RescueTouch system. One option connects children to their parents with the VoiceConnect system and family alerts, but this base subscription does not include professional monitoring. Without professional monitoring, a child can only alert family (not an emergency dispatcher or operator) during an emergency. However, parents can also opt into the 911 Direct plan for an additional monthly charge.

The RescueTouch comes in a variety of bright colors like blue, green, and pink. 

Plans & Pricing

Because RescueTouch does not come with a home base system, there is no subscription plan for home monitoring. The Family Response plan lets children connect with five contacts for text alerts, GPS tracking, or phone calls. This plan starts at $34 a month, and parents can add fall detection for an extra $5 a month. Professional monitoring connects users to Florida Telehealth’s emergency operators, and it costs $29 a month without the family text alerts or calls. 

The best value is The Whole Shabang! plan, which bundles 911 Direct coverage, the Family Response features, and automatic fall detection. The Whole Shabang starts at $49 a month. Parents can add coverage for another child with the Chit Chat Monitored Twin Pack, which costs $74 a month.  

Best for Travel : Lively


Lively

Lively

Key Specs
  • Price: $25 - $40 a month
  • Connection: 4G LTE, GPS
  • Fall Detection: Yes
  • In-Home Range: N/A
Why We Chose It 

Lively might be a great choice for travelers since the device does not need to connect to a  home unit and users can download the Lively app on their Alexa and Apple Watch fore additional protection no matter where they are located. 

Pros & Cons
Pros
  • Lively app integrates with Alexa and Apple Watch

  • Up to 80 hours of standby battery

  • Doesn’t need a home base system 

  • No limit to the number of contacts you can add in the Lively app

Cons
  • Can’t add additional users to your subscription plan 

  • The pendant buttons don’t have voice recognition 

  • Alexa and Apple Watch integration tedious for those not tech-savvy 

Overview

In 2018, Best Buy announced plans to meet a new target audience: aging people who want to use tech to help them stay active. That year, Best Buy acquired GreatCall. GreatCall offered senior-friendly phones like the Jitterbug and medical alert devices. In 2019, GreatCall was rebranded as Lively

Lively stands out from the competition because its devices do not need to be tethered to a home monitoring system. Many medical alert buttons only work when they’re within range of a base unit. In other words, if a person tries to press their button, the pendant may not have the signal needed to call for help if that person is too far away from a base unit. This range can get complicated for people who want to travel with their medical alert pendants, or simply walk outside to get the mail. Base units tend to be heavier and bulkier than pendant buttons, and some base units need to be plugged into a landline. Lively cuts the cord. Users can use Lively anywhere, in and out of their home. 

Lively is a great option for customers who want to have a portable Lively button that they can pair with another smart tech. When you buy a Lively system, you also get access to the Lively app you can install on an Alexa device or Apple Watch. While customers do not need one of those devices to use the Lively pendant, these apps can add extra functionality. For example, the Lively pendant does not have voice recognition. However, if a customer has paired Alexa with the Lively app, they can say, “Alexa, call for help” to contact Lively’s emergency responders. 

Travel-loving customers will need to balance the convenience of Lively’s medical alert button with its pharmaceutical appearance. The Lively button may be easy to transport, but it cannot be easily disguised as a piece of jewelry. The pendant is a gray rectangle with a prominent brand logo.

Plans & Pricing

Before a customer enrolls in a Lively subscription, they’ll need to purchase the $50 device. Then, the customer can choose from three different monitoring plans:

  • Basic Package for $25 a month includes urgent response service during emergencies
  • Preferred Package for $30 a month includes urgent response service and no extra copays
  • Ultimate Package for $40 a month includes the Preferred Package features and automatic fall detection 

Users can also opt into several add-ons like a $20 lockbox

AARP members may qualify for a discount of $60 a year when they sign up for Preferred or Ultimate plans. Customers with health insurance plans like an FSA, HSA, or HRA might consider asking their insurer to reimburse them for the initial cost of their Lively Mobile Plus pendant. 

Final Verdict

If you’re shopping for a medical alert bracelet, you can find many different options to fit your needs. We named Medical Care Alert as the top medical alert device. Medical Care Alert provides easy-to-use devices, a lifetime warranty, and extra buttons without extra monitoring fees. 

While Medical Care Alert is advertised as a superior option for elders and people with disabilities, countless people could benefit from a med alert bracelet. For example, parents of young children might gravitate toward Florida Telehealth because the RescueTouch system has bright colors and family text alerts. Consult with your doctor and your loved ones to determine which alert system best fits your budget, your sense of fashion, your home design, and your caretaking needs. 

Compare the Best Medical Alert Bracelets

Company Price   Connection  Fall Detection  In-Home Range
Medical Care Alert
Best Overall
$30 - $35 a month 4G, Wifi, GPS  Yes  1000 feet
Medical Guardian
Best for Seniors 
$30 - $35 a month  4G, Wifi, GPS  Yes  1,400 feet 
LifeStation
Best for Coping with a Chronic Illness
$30 - $44 a month  3G/4G, Wifi, GPS, Bluetooth Yes  Depending on the device, 400-1000 feet 
GetSafe
Best for Fall Protection
Starts at $25 a month  4G LTE  Yes  Depending on the device, 400-1000 feet 
LifeFone
Best for Most Affordable
$25 - $37 a month  Landline, GPS, 5G  Yes  1400 feet 
BlueStar Senior Tech
Best for Style
$30 - $35 a month Bluetooth, 4G  Yes  N/A 
BlueStar Senior Tech
Best for Ease of Use
$30 - $35 a month  Bluetooth, 4G  Yes  600 feet
Florida Telehealt
Best for Kids
$29 - $74 a month  Cellular, GPS  Yes  N/A 
Lively
Best for Travel
$25 - $40 a month  4G LTE, GPS  Yes  N/A 

Guide for Choosing the Right Medical Alert Bracelet 

What Is a Medical Alert Bracelet?

A medical alert bracelet system typically consists of one or two separate devices. A person can wear a button around their neck or their wrist, and they can press this button to call for help. Some at-home systems also have a home base unit with a distress button and a two-way speaker box. You might need to plug this box into your landline, or your system might work with cellular, wifi, Bluetooth, or GPS connections. The ultimate goal is to help you reach out to emergency services when you’re in need.

How does it work? Imagine that you have fallen down the stairs in your home and have broken your leg. If you live alone, it may be difficult for you to call out to a neighbor for help. If you do not have your cell phone on hand, how can you call 911? If you are wearing a medical alert bracelet, you can press the button. Emergency phone operators that work with your medical bracelet’s company may then ask you to explain the situation, confirm your address, and will dispatch paramedics to your location. 

Some medical alert bracelets can connect users to a caregiver app so they can use their device to request non-emergency assistance from their family or loved ones. Other bracelets are designed more specifically to be used exclusively in the case of emergencies. 

Are There Any Drawbacks to Using a Medical Alert Bracelet? 

While medical alert bracelets can be life-saving, they also may have some drawbacks. One major issue to consider is your data privacy. Some companies sell your data to third parties. These third parties can then use this personal data (like your location or your habits) to try to target you in advertisements. 

If you are concerned about your personal data, then make sure to closely read through a company’s privacy policies before you sign up for a subscription. Fortunately, some companies promise to never share your data with third parties (except for your approved caretakers or emergency responders). 

What Should I Look for in a Medical Alert Bracelet?

The goal of a medical alert bracelet is to provide an immediate, easy-to-use link to your caregivers or to 911 with the press of a button. When you’re shopping for a medical alert system, you should consider devices that fit in well with your lifestyle. 

Some questions you might ask yourself about a medical alert bracelet include:

  1. If the device requires a landline or cellular connection, do I already have access to those services? 
  2. Is the button comfortable to wear, and does its style match my usual wardrobe? Would I want to wear this device every day? 
  3. Does the device fit into my budget? What are the upfront costs to buy the system, and what are the monthly subscription charges for monitoring? Are there extra hidden fees I need to consider, like fall detection? 
  4. Who do I want to be able to contact first during an emergency: my family and caregivers, or emergency services? 
  5. How easy is this device to use? Are there customer service guides or troubleshooting FAQs to help me set up my system? 
  6. Do I plan to use this device mostly in my home or outside of my home? 

Frequently Asked Questions

What Conditions Might a Medical Alert Bracelet Be Helpful for? 

Medical alert bracelets are often advertised for senior citizens who live alone, but there are many other people who might benefit from a medical alert bracelet. Some of these people include but are not limited to: 

  • Children who need to keep in contact with their parents but may not have a cell phone 
  • People who have chronic illnesses 
  • Travelers who want a quick and reliable way to contact 911, even if they’re in a new location 
  • Disabled or elderly partners who live together, especially if they can bundle their coverage without extra monitoring fees 
  • People who have conditions that may make them more prone to accidents or falling down
  • People with food allergies who may want to add an extra sense of protection alongside their usual Epi-pen
  • Adults of all ages who live alone and worry about how they could get help during a break-in, fire, or other home security issue 
  • People with mental health conditions who may need a quick way to contact people in their support circle 
  • People who are recovering from an injury or surgery but who do not have caregivers in their home to assist them 

Are Medical Alert Bracelets Better Than Medical Alert Necklaces? 

Medical alert buttons can be worn around your neck like a pendant or on your wrist like a bracelet or watch. Different medical alert companies provide different styling options to you. Nonetheless, the benefits of wearing a bracelet vs. a necklace boils down to personal preference. There are some pros and cons to wearing your medical alert button around your wrist. 

Pros
  • The button may be more visible to first responders

  • The button may be easier for you to reach if you fall or if you’re in danger, whereas a necklace pendant might be more difficult to press if your arms are pinned by your sides

Cons
  • If you take off the watch or bracelet to wash or moisturize your hands, it can be easy to forget to put it back on

  • Your button may undergo more wear-and-tear with everyday dings and water exposure when worn around your wrist

  • Some people prefer the feeling and appearance of a necklace over a bracelet 

What Do the Different Colors of Medical Alert Bracelets Mean? 

Medical bracelets come in a variety of colors and styles. Some customers choose to customize their alert buttons based on their medical conditions. For example, here are some common color codes for health conditions in the US:

  • Red wristband = a major allergy 
  • Yellow wristband = risk of falling down or problem with balance 
  • Pink wristband = limited use of arms or legs
  • Green band = latex allergy 
  • Purple band = a do-not-resuscitate order

These colors have significance in a hospital setting where they serve as discreet ways to let nurses know about conditions their patients may have. However, these colors may not mean the same when worn in public. 

Can I Use a Smartwatch As a Medical Alert Bracelet? 

If you own a smartwatch, you may have already recognized that it has some safety features. The Apple Watch has its own kind of distress button since you can opt to call 911 after you click the power button on the side of the watch. Depending on your smartwatch, you might be able to download apps that help you keep in touch with caretakers or that share your location when you’re walking alone at night. 

These apps can turn your smartwatch into a sort of medical alert bracelet, but there are still some major benefits to an actual designated alert response system. For example, medical alert pendants may have a longer battery life than your smartwatch. If you use a smartwatch as your primary medical alert bracelet, you’ll need to juggle various apps to share your location and manage your care team. Alert systems provide these services all in one. 

As a compromise, some medical alert bracelet companies provide their own app for the Apple Watch. You can enhance your current watch with extra security and peace of mind. 

Your monitoring fee with a medical alert company may include access to a phone app. That app can essentially turn your watch into a medical alert button. You can open the app and, in seconds, get connected to emergency or nonemergency operators. 

Do Medical Alert Bracelets Call 911?

Like home security systems, most medical alert devices do not automatically connect you with 911. Instead, an operator who works for the medical alert company will quickly confirm your location and determine if you are in danger. That operator can then contact police, paramedics, or firefighters on your behalf. 

Methodology

Before writing this article, we researched 18 different medical alert bracelet companies. First, we compared how much each company charges for the equipment and/or its monitoring service. We prioritized budget-friendly alert systems with fall detection and clear, easy-to-use instructions. These criteria were vital to our initial judgments because a person must first be able to afford and successfully set up a medical alert device before they can begin using it.

After this initial vetting process, we began to consider our superlatives. We weighed up additional perks from each company like caregiver apps, warranty policies, and style appeal.

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By Laken Brooks
Laken Brooks (she/hers) is a freelance writer with bylines in CNN, Inside Higher Ed, Good Housekeeping, and Refinery29. She writes about accessibility, folk medicine, and technology. 

Edited by
Ray Finch
Ray Finch

Ray is a health special projects editor on the performance marketing team.

Learn about our editorial process