ADT offers a range of medical alert systems that accommodates most users and lifestyles.
You probably already know that ADT provides security solutions for homes and businesses. But did you also know that they serve over 6 million customers throughout the U.S.?1 Among these customers are older adults and their caregivers, as ADT Health offers at-home and on-the-go medical alert systems.
For this year's review, I tested ADT Health's Medical Alert Plus, a cellular at-home system, and On-The-Go, a mobile cellular device. My takeaway is that the company offers three solid systems, without lots of bells and whistles, but with a focus on getting the basics right. The one extra feature (on the at-home systems) that distinguishes ADT Health from most other brands is temperature monitors on the base units. Because many older adults experience changes in their sensory perception as they age, alerts indicating if the home temperature is above or below where it should be can be helpful.
ADT Health also has several customer-friendly policies that I think you will like, such as a lifetime price lock on monthly fees and low monitoring fees for spouses. Read on as I delve into all things ADT Health: from the pros and cons of my experience setting up my systems and interacting with the company.
Although ADT Health spells out their medical alert systems and pricing on their website, I wanted to dig up more information, so I gave them a call. After a quick automated response, I was connected with a sales agent named Emir, who patiently answered my questions. For any medical alert system, it's important to me that the company offers language support. When I asked Emir if they offered this, he responded that they would do their best to provide my preferred language but that it wasn't guaranteed.
He expanded on this, saying that receiving immediate help is more important than trying to find someone who speaks my preferred language during an emergency. While I appreciate that ADT Health prioritizes getting help to their subscribers quickly, I wondered if communication gaps could hinder this good intention. Some monitoring centers use translation services that can assist with up to 200 different languages. If you need support in a language other than English, read our Medical Guardian review and MobileHelp review.
Buying Tip: If you are a current ADT customer, ask customer service about any discounts they might offer for purchasing a second system. They don't advertise this discount on their website, but it doesn't hurt to ask!
After ending the conversation with Emir, I forgot to ask about the cost of adding fall detection, so I tried out ADT Health's live chat feature on the website. A bot prompted some questions before connecting me with a representative who informed me that fall detection costs $10 per month, which is standard for the industry.
ADT Health offers online promotions and discounts throughout the year, so I'd recommend ordering online after chatting with customer service. At the time of this review, ADT was offering a $2 monthly discount, free activation (usually $29.99), free shipping ($9.99), and a free lockbox.
I began the setup process with Medical Alert Plus, which included a base station and a pendant help button. To start, I plugged the cellular base unit into an electrical outlet in my living room before turning on the base station's On/Off switch. The display screen on the base station flashed “System Ready” after I turned it on. During my initial setup test, I pressed and held the test button for three seconds, and it lit up green. “User Auto Test” then flashed across the screen. Next, I pressed the emergency help pendant, and the display changed to “Test Call Sent to Emergency Response Center.” The center acknowledged my test, and the base unit indicated “User Auto Test Completed.”
As for setting up the On-The-Go system, I plugged in the charging cradle, placed the mobile device on it, and watched a yellow light flash. The mobile device beeped and illuminated within 10 seconds before the red battery light came on, indicating that the device needed to charge. Three hours and a marathon of “The Office” later, I checked that the red light turned off.
Setup Advice: Avoid setting up the base unit or cradle charger in the kitchen, as small appliances could interfere with signal transmission. Instead, place it in a centralized area or room where you spend most of your time.
For testing, I pressed the emergency button on the mobile unit for two seconds until a red light around the button lit up and the device rang. An operator answered, and I let them know that I was testing the system. I also performed a range test with my partner. I wore the help button pendant and went to the furthest area of my house (our office) while my partner stayed by the cradle charger in the living room. The mobile device on the cradle charger beeped, and an operator came on the line. My partner let them know that we were performing a range test, and we gave each other a thumbs up for a job well done.
ADT offers a lifetime warranty covering normal wear and tear, an industry standard. They do not provide any additional protection to cover lost, damaged, or stolen equipment. Many providers offer some kind of protection plan that includes other perks or discounts. If you think this is necessary for a loved one (for example, for someone living with dementia), take a look at our Medical Alert review.
Pro Tip: ADT Health provides a lifetime price-lock guarantee, which many other providers don't. It is called the Foreverate. After you order your system, you don't need to worry about your monthly rate increasing.
ADT Health doesn't offer a free trial period like many other providers. However, if you decide to cancel your service, they will reimburse you for any unused days in the billing cycle. They also send a prepaid mailing label, so you don't have to pay for return shipping.
Want a closer look at ADT Health? Watch our video review below!
|ADT system||Monthly price||Connection type||Coverage range||Fall detection||2-way talk||Home temperature monitoring|
|Medical Alert Basic||$29.99||Landline||300 feet||N/A||Yes||Yes|
|Medical Alert Plus||$35.99||Cellular||600 feet||$10 per month||Yes||Yes|
|On-The-Go||$39.99||Cellular||100 feet||$10 per month||Yes||No|
Medical Alert Basic starts at $29.99 per month and is the cheapest system ADT Health offers. However, this basic landline system is $5 to $10 more expensive than many other brands. For comparison, Bay Alarm Medical's costs start at $19.95 per month for in-home systems.
This system comes with an in-home base unit and a wearable wrist or neck help button. During an emergency, press the help button on the base unit or pendant to connect to ADT's 24/7 monitoring center. You can then use the two-way speaker on the base unit to tell the live operator what's wrong, and help will be on the way.
Did You Know: ADT Health made our list as a top medical alert system for the year.
While you are wearing the pendant, you need to be within 300 feet of the base unit. This range is somewhat restrictive, as other companies we've reviewed, like LifeFone, offer range capabilities up to 1,300 feet with similar in-home systems. One extra feature not seen on many other base units is temperature monitoring, which alerts you if your home temperature drops below or rises above a normal level.
The Medical Alert Basic system is a solid match for homebodies or those who live in areas with poor cell reception, as it's an at-home system that runs on a landline connection. The caveat with the Medical Alert Basic is that you can't add fall detection to your system. This could pose a problem, especially for those at a higher risk of falling, such as those living with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, Parkinson's disease, or diabetes.
If you need an at-home system but enjoy spending time in your backyard, either gardening or playing with your furry companions, I recommend spending the additional $6 per month (above the price of the Basic) on the Medical Alert Plus. The at-home system costs $35.99 per month, and I think that it provides greater value than the Basic system.
I found the base unit on the Plus less medical-looking and clunky than the Basic system's base unit. It has a contemporary look to it and a display screen. Also, for many older adults who live with hearing loss, the voice prompts are loud, like able to hear from the other side of the house loud! And you can always read the system's status on the display screen as well.
While the range between the help button and base unit is more extensive on the Plus system than the Basic system, its 600-foot range is still on the average-to-low side compared to other similar systems. Still, depending on the size of your yard or house, it may be all you need. And like the Basic system, the Plus includes temperature monitoring, an extra security feature.
While Medical Alert Plus works much like the Basic system, it uses ADT Health's AT&T cellular connection rather than a landline. And I was happy to see that for an additional $10 per month, I had the option to tack on fall detection.
Priced at $39.99 per month, On-The-Go is similar in price to many other mobile systems that we have reviewed. Of the three systems, the On-the-Go is most in line with industry pricing standards.
In my opinion, ADT Health's On-The-Go is the most comprehensive safety system in their lineup. It's great for active seniors who like long jogs or walks around the neighborhood. The system is wearable, includes GPS location tracking, and isn't limited by the requirements of a base unit, so you won't have to worry about going out of range.
User Tip: Be sure to remove On-The-Go's mobile device from the cradle charger from time to time instead of leaving it on the cradle whenever you're at home. This will help extend the battery life.
When I unboxed the On-The-Go system, I found a help pendant, a palm-sized mobile device, and a cradle charger. The mobile device is water-resistant and lasts up to 24 hours after a full three-hour charge on the cradle, so you'll want to take the charger with you if you plan to be away from home for more than a day.
On-the-Go operates on AT&T's cellular connection, so you can use it wherever there is reliable service. Fall detection is available as an add-on, but, unfortunately, ADT Health doesn't offer a companion mobile app. This perk enables caregivers to track an older loved one's location in the event of an emergency. If you're interested in a system that includes this added benefit, take a look at our Aloe Care Health review.
ADT Health keeps it pretty simple with extra products and services. Their short a la carte menu includes the following items.
Automatic fall detection costs an additional $10 per month with the Plus and On-The-Go systems, which falls right in line with competitors. The feature is accessed through a separate pendant. During testing, I dropped the pendant in my living room to simulate a fall. I waited about 20 seconds before the Fall Detection pendant picked up the movement and alerted ADT Health's emergency response center. There's no guarantee that fall detection will identify 100 percent of falls, so it is recommended that you press the help button if you're able to.
These waterproof buttons for at-home systems enable you to call for help when you don't have access to the pendant or base station. During an emergency, just press the button; it will automatically connect to the base unit and call for help. If you decide to add ADT Health's wall mount button to your medical alert system, place it in a high-risk area, like the bottom of a staircase or the bathroom. Each button costs $2.99 per month.
Lockboxes ensure that EMS can enter your home safely without damaging your door. ADT Health's lockboxes are rust-free and have a lifetime warranty. All you have to do is set a personal combination and notify the ADT Health team so they can register the lockbox on your account. A lockbox is provided free of charge if you order online. Otherwise, the cost is $29.99.
For $5 per month plus a one-time $14.99 equipment charge, you can purchase an extra help button. This extra for at-home systems is most valuable for couples or households with more than one older adult. It's not quite a two-for-one deal, but pretty close. You can order the help button with either a lanyard or a black or white wristband.
You have the option to pay monthly, quarterly, or annually. ADT Health charges between $29.95 per month and $39.99 per month.
Since ADT Health does not require contracts, you can cancel and return the equipment at any time. After you notify them that you’re canceling, they will ship a box for you to pack the equipment in and return at no extra charge.
Yes, you can take your ADT medical alert system with you. Just be sure to contact the ADT Health team to update your address 30 days before your move. An additional fee may be applied for each move.
ADT Health does not require long-term contracts and instead offers month-to-month plans. Prices are locked in through Foreverate.
The help buttons are waterproof, but the base units and mobile device for the On-The-Go system are not.
ADT. (2021). About ADT.