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Bay Alarm Medical Alert System Review 2024

Our Experts Tested and Reviewed Bay Alarm Medical’s Simple and Affordable Medical Alert Systems

SeniorLiving.org is compensated when you click on the provider links listed on this page. This compensation does not impact our ratings or reviews. Read our Editorial Guidelines here to learn more about our review process and to learn more about how we are compensated.

SeniorLiving.org Rating:
5 of 5
Questions? Speak with a Bay Alarm Medical Specialist:
844-946-1712
70+ Years in Business
10+ Plan Options
24/7 Emergency Response
$24.95/mo. Starting Price

SeniorLiving.org is compensated when you click on the provider links listed on this page. This compensation does not impact our ratings or reviews. Read our Editorial Guidelines here to learn more about our review process and to learn more about how we are compensated.

SeniorLiving.org Rating:
5 of 5
Questions? Speak with a Bay Alarm Medical Specialist:
844-946-1712
Linda Schlenker Jeff Hoyt
Linda Schlenker, Fall Prevention & Senior Safety Expert Jeff Hoyt, Editor in Chief

Bay Alarm Medical, one of the top providers in the medical alert system industry, has provided reliable protection to older adults for years. They offer diverse products, from in-home systems with fall detection to mobile units and high-tech smartwatches. I put Bay Alarm Medical’s SOS Home Medical Alert system, SOS Mobile unit, and SOS Smartwatch to the test for this year’s review.

I found that Bay Alarm Medical offers some of the least expensive medical alert systems on the market without sacrificing quality, starting at just $24.95 per month. With stellar customer support, great add-on features, reliable equipment, and 24/7 monitoring, they stand out from the crowd. While the company only has four systems to choose from, I believe you’ll be satisfied with Bay Alarm Medical. Read on as I get into my experience with this provider’s products!

Pros About Bay Alarm Medical

  • Affordable packages
  • 30-day risk-free trial
  • Easy installation
  • One-year price-lock guarantee
  • No hidden fees
  • Discreet smartwatch option
  • No long-term contracts
  • Superb customer service with live chat option

Cons About Bay Alarm Medical

  • In-home unit looks a bit dated compared to competitor solutions

Overview of Bay Alarm Medical

The Buying Experience

Navigating Bay Alarm Medical’s website isn’t difficult, but I recommend speaking to a customer care representative to determine which system is best for you. When I called, I was connected with a representative in just under a minute who was incredibly friendly, to the point where I wondered if the rep had been trained by Disney. When I told the agent I wanted an in-home system, she recommended the SOS Home, which can be combined with add-on waterproof wall buttons with adhesive mounts. The wall buttons are handy for high-risk areas like the shower or stairs.

Current Deal:

Current Deal: Bay Alarm Medical is offering a 30 percent discount on devices along with free shipping and a free month of service on select plans.

I also asked if they offer language support in Greek, thinking of my great aunt who speaks little English. They offered to connect her to a fluent operator. I was impressed to learn that Bay Alarm Medical provides support for more than 190 different languages.1 You can also get customer service by live chat, phone, or the FAQ portal. When I tested out the live chat option, I was connected with a representative in about 30 seconds. While other companies we’ve reviewed, like Lively, also have top-rated customer support, they don’t offer the same range of language services that Bay Alarm Medical does.

Setting Up My System

SOS Home Setup

Bay Alarm Medical’s at-home system is functional, durable, and easy to set up. Although this system looks a bit old-fashioned, it gets the job done. My system came with a base unit, all the necessary cords, and a wearable help button. Once I unboxed everything, I plugged the base unit into an outlet and then connected it to the phone line.

Setup Tip:

Setup Tip: Put the base unit in areas that you frequent (e.g., the kitchen, living room, bedroom) or by high-risk areas like the stairs. Keep the base unit in a visible spot with few or no objects surrounding it for easy access.

The system’s two-way audio allowed me to communicate with a dispatcher from anywhere in the house (a 1,000-foot range) without being near the base unit. To test the in-home system, I pressed the help button on the pendant, which connected wirelessly. The base station beeped for five seconds, and then an automated voice said, “Call connected, please wait.” In around 20 seconds, the operator picked up and asked if I needed help. Using the base station’s two-way speaker, I let them know that I was only testing the system, and that was that! Bay Alarm Medical recommends making a test call once a month to ensure everything is working properly.

SOS Mobile Setup

I made sure the SOS Mobile unit was fully charged before trying it out. To charge, I simply placed the unit on its charging cradle. The help button’s light flashed red every five seconds, and the system audibly announced that it was charging. I like this verbal confirmation that the system was plugged in correctly! Once my device was fully charged, the light turned solid red. It took around two hours for my system to charge, then it was time to test it out.

SOS Mobile's help button turns solid red when fully charged

SOS Mobile’s help button turns solid red when fully charged

I held the help button down until I heard a beep. An automated voice let me know a call was being placed and to hold down the help button if I wanted to cancel the call. The help button turned solid blue. I also tested out the system’s fall detection by dropping the system on the ground. Within two seconds of dropping the unit, an automated voice announced: “Fall detected. Hold the call button to cancel.” I appreciated how fast the response was and that you can cancel the call at any time. After all, fall detection isn’t 100 percent accurate, and false alarms sometimes happen.

SOS Smartwatch Setup

When I first unboxed the SOS Smartwatch, it looked exactly like a “regular” smartwatch. Unless you told someone, they’d never know it was actually a medical alert device — a big plus in my eyes! The smartwatch came with a charging cable, a charging cradle, and a power supply. To charge, simply place the unit on the charging cradle.

Unboxing my SOS Smartwatch

Unboxing my SOS Smartwatch

As advertised, the watch was ready to go out of the box. I didn’t need to download anything on my smartphone or log in. In fact, you don’t need a smartphone, or even an internet-capable device of any kind, to use the SOS Smartwatch.

I followed the simple directions provided to turn the watch on. It already had 83 percent battery life, but I went ahead and charged it up to 100 percent, which is recommended for your first use. Figuring out how to open the watchband and size it was a little tricky, though. The metal clasp may be difficult for those with arthritis or dexterity problems.

After I got it situated on my wrist, I opened up the pedometer app and took a walk around my house. The step counter seemed accurate. For fitness enthusiasts, you can even change your daily step goal. There’s also a weather app that allows you to check the weather in your current location.

Checking out my SOS Smartwatch's features

Checking out my SOS Smartwatch’s features

Finally, I gave the SOS button a test. This requires you to press and hold the SOS button on the side of the watch for a few seconds (to avoid accidental calls). Holding in the button was a little awkward since it’s on the side of the watch and not the top, but you’ll get used to it. After pressing the button for about five seconds, the watch initiated a phone call. An operator answered within 10 seconds. I let her know that I was simply testing my watch. She politely confirmed that it was a test, verified my identity, and then ended the call.

During the SOS call, I could adjust the volume or switch to whisper mode by pressing a button on the watch face. Whisper mode lets you hold the watch close to your ear and speak quietly during the call. I liked that both of these can make calls a little easier to understand for those with hearing difficulties.

Contract and Warranty

The Bay Alarm rep explained that the company offers a protection plan that allows for one free system replacement per contractual year, and a 50 percent discount on lost or damaged accessories. The SOS Home system also includes lifetime low battery replacement for the personal help button. The plan costs $2.95 per month for the SOS Mobile, SOS Home, and SOS Smartwatch. If you choose one of Bay Alarm Medical’s bundle packages, you can get the same protection on all of your equipment for $4.95 per month. If you decide you don’t want the protection plan, you’ll pay up to $299 for nonmanufacturing-related damage.

The representative also reminded me that there are no long-term contracts, so you can cancel service at any time without penalty. I’m a big fan of that flexibility!

Bay Alarm Medical Systems at a Glance

Product Starting prices Connection type Features Best for
SOS Home Landline: $24.95 per month

Cellular: $39.95 per month

Premium Cellular: $42.95 per month

Landline or cellular 2-way audio; 32-hour backup battery; standard help button battery lasts up to 5 years; auto fall detection button battery lasts up to 2 years; choice of waterproof necklace or wristband button; up to 1,000-foot coverage area Homebodies or those on a tight budget
SOS Mobile Standard: $44.95 per month

SOS Mobile With Fall Detection: $42.95 per month

SOS Mobile 360° Bundle: $59.95 per month

Cellular Includes charger and lanyard; 2-way audio; water-resistant buttons; 72-hour battery life; Caregiver Tracking app On-the-go users
SOS Smartwatch Smartwatch only: $34.95 per month

Smartwatch With Fall Detection: $44.95 per month

In-Home + Smartwatch With Fall Detection: $59.95 per month

Cellular Step tracking; touch-screen watch design; daily step goals; up to 18-hour battery life; emergency help button Active older adults who want health and lifestyle tracking features
SOS All-In-One Basic package: $39.95 per month

All-In-One With Fall Detection: $49.95

Cellular All-in-one mobile unit; wearable help buttons; Caregiver Tracking app; 72-hour battery life Those who want comprehensive at-home and on-the-go protection

Bay Alarm Medical System and Product Details

SOS Home

Cost

SOS Home is Bay Alarm Medical’s least-expensive system, making it a great option for those on a tight budget. Prices start at $24.95 per month for the standard landline model and $29.95 for the system with a cellular connection. For premium cellular, the monthly price is $39.95.

Bay Alarm Medical's SOS Home system

Bay Alarm Medical’s SOS Home system

Equipment

SOS Home comes with a base unit and wearable help button. I opted for the landline system, so all I needed to do was plug the system’s gray cord into the phone jack.

The system’s two-way audio allowed me to communicate with a dispatcher from anywhere in the house (a 1,000-foot range) without being near the base unit. I pressed the help button on my pendant in the kitchen, and it quickly connected to the base station in the living room on the other side of the house, no problem.

Our Editor Jeff Hoyt wearing the Bay Alarm Medical Fall Detection Pendant

Our Editor Jeff Hoyt wearing the Bay Alarm Medical auto fall detection pendant

Service and Monitoring

While I chose the landline system, Bay Alarm also offers a 4G LTE cellular connection, which runs off AT&T or Verizon cell towers. I preferred the stable connection of my landline since I don’t have great AT&T coverage (plus, it saved me $10 per month), but the cellular option is suitable for those who don’t have (or don’t want to use) a landline.

Did You Know?

Did You Know? Falls are the leading cause of both fatal and nonfatal injuries for seniors in the U.S.,2 which is why fall detection pendants are so important for aging in place.

All of Bay Alarm Medical’s in-home systems offer 24/7 monitoring, so you’ll be covered day and night. You can add automatic fall detection to any in-home system for $10 per month. With this feature, falls are detected automatically, even if you can’t press your help button. I’d recommend it for those at high risk of falling or older adults who want the added protection.

SOS Mobile

Cost

The SOS Mobile costs $34.95 per month, and there is a $99 one-time equipment fee for the device. This is pretty affordable compared to other mobile systems on the market. For example, ADT’s prices for on-the-go systems start at $39.99 per month.

Even better, for $59.95 per month (plus a $99 equipment fee), you can get protection for both at-home and on-the-go protection with the SOS Mobile 360° Bundle. This bundle comes with the SOS Mobile Unit and the SOS Home system.

Bay Alarm Medical's SOS Mobile with fall detection is small and portable

Bay Alarm Medical’s SOS Mobile with fall detection is small and portable

Equipment

Unboxing my SOS Mobile unit from Bay Alarm Medical

Unboxing my SOS Mobile unit from Bay Alarm Medical

The SOS Mobile package includes the help button, a charging dock, a necklace cord, and a hip clip. Once my system was charged, I placed it around my neck, and I was good to go. With a compact, lightweight design, SOS Mobile doesn’t feel too bulky or cumbersome. I wore it over tops or tucked under a sweater, and it wasn’t very noticeable. The system’s blue light flashed every 26 seconds to indicate that I had solid cell reception and charge. I will say, this light was a bit annoying, since I wanted to keep the system discreet. Still, it was good to have the assurance that the system was up and running properly!

SOS Mobile has a 72-hour battery life, which is comparable to other popular mobile units. There are a few on-the-go systems with longer-lasting batteries, including a few of Medical Guradian’s mobile systems that last up to five days. I took the SOS Mobile on a weekend trip and didn’t have to worry about a dead battery! I also discovered that the unit will notify you when the battery is running low. When my system hit 10 percent battery life, the system’s button flashed red every 26 seconds.

Service and Monitoring

SOS Mobile runs on AT&T or Verizon, so you can use it anywhere with network coverage. I wore the SOS Mobile around my house, on a walk, on a weekend road trip, and while running errands. I found that I had reliable coverage everywhere I went. You can also add fall detection to the system for $10 per month, which I did. I simulated falls by dropping the system on the ground and “falling” onto my couch. Both times, the system detected the fall and sent an alert in just a second or two.

What stood out to me about this system was the Bay Alarm Medical mobile app, which comes with the SOS Mobile system. After downloading the app on my iPhone to give it a try, I found that it was very streamlined and simple to use. I could check my system’s exact location on a map, see its battery levels, view a step tracker and set goals, and create an emergency plan.

Navigating Bay Alarm Medical's companion mobile app

Navigating Bay Alarm Medical’s companion mobile app

One of my favorite things about the app is that you can ring your device to locate it in case it gets lost. I am terrible at keeping track of my things, so I inevitably forgot where I put the SOS Mobile one afternoon. I opened the app and tapped the “Ring Device” button. The app sent a ringing noise (just like a cell phone ringing) through my device’s speakers. After walking around my whole house and garage, I realized I’d left the SOS Mobile in my car. This feature is excellent for those with memory loss or those who always misplace things like me!

You can ring a lost device in the Bay Alarm Medical app

You can ring a lost device in the Bay Alarm Medical app

SOS All-In-One

Cost

The SOS All-In-One, Bay Alarm Medical’s hybrid at-home and on-the-go system, costs $39.95 per month, plus a $119 device fee. This price is pretty typical for similar hybrid systems, and the system offers excellent value since it provides protection everywhere you go.

Equipment

SOS All-In-One is a two-piece system designed for at-home and on-the-go use. It features an all-in-one wearable unit equipped with a two-way speaker, GPS tracking, and a built-in help button. You can wear this unit while you’re out of the house for mobile protection. The system also comes with a wearable help button designed to be worn at home, which is compatible with the mobile unit. During an emergency, pressing the help button will connect you to the All-In-One mobile unit and Bay Alarm Medical’s 24/7 monitoring center.

Service and Monitoring

Like the rest of Bay Alarm Medical’s mobile systems, the SOS All-In-One features a 4G LTE cellular connection. It also comes with GPS tracking, so you can receive help at your exact location, no matter where you are. For an extra $10 per month (plus an additional $30 equipment fee), you can also add automatic fall detection for more robust protection.

SOS Smartwatch

Cost

Bay Alarm Medical’s SOS Smartwatch starts at $34.95 per month. You’ll also pay a one-time $159 equipment fee for the watch. The monthly rates are pretty average compared to other popular smartwatch systems. However, the equipment fee is less expensive than some other options. For instance, Medical Guardian’s MGMove watch costs $199.95, and its interface and features are very similar to the SOS Smartwatch. The MGMove is our top pick for medical alert watches, while the SOS Smartwatch is our second pick. Check out our guide to the best medical alert watches to compare all of your options and make an informed decision.

FYI:

FYI: Bay Alarm Medical lets customers pay for systems quarterly or annually. Right now if you pay quarterly, you get free shipping with certain plans. If you pay annually, you get free shipping and one month of service free.

Equipment

This water-resistant smartwatch has a simple touchscreen, a navigation button, and a help button, along with a few extra features like step tracking and daily goal setting. For older adults who want to track their daily activity with a little added protection or those who want a discreet, sleek medical alert system, this is an excellent option. Not all medical alert providers offer smartwatch systems, so it’s pretty unique for the industry.

Taking my SOS Smartwatch for a test drive

Taking my SOS Smartwatch for a test drive

The watch comes with a charging dock and has a six- to 18-hour battery life, but I’d still recommend charging it every night beside your bed. That way, you’ll see it first thing when you wake up, and you won’t risk running out of battery during the day. Plus, should you experience an emergency in the middle of the night, your watch is right there.

Want to see the SOS Smartwatch in action? Check out our hands-on review below!

Service and Monitoring

The SOS Smartwatch is best for active older adults who spend a lot of time out and about. Using 4G LTE cellular service, the watch offers 24/7 monitoring and GPS location tracking. It’s easy to tell when you have good coverage too. A green dot indicates a strong cellular connection, a yellow dot indicates a moderate cellular connection and a red dot indicates a weak cellular connection. Pushing the SOS button alerts trained operators to initiate two-way communication through the watch and send help, wherever you are.

The SOS Smartwatch's green dot indicates a strong cellular connection

The SOS Smartwatch’s green dot indicates a strong cellular connection

SOS All-in-One

Cost

The SOS All-in-One, Bay Alarm Medical’s hybrid at-home and on-the-go system, costs $39.95 per month. This price is pretty typical for similar hybrid systems, and the system offers excellent value since it provides protection everywhere you go.

Equipment

SOS All-in-One is a two-piece system designed for at-home and on-the-go use. It features an all-in-one wearable unit equipped with a two-way speaker, GPS tracking, and a built-in help button. You can wear this unit while you’re out of the house for mobile protection. The system also comes with a wearable help button designed to be worn at home, which is compatible with the mobile unit. During an emergency, pressing the help button will connect you to the all-in-one mobile unit and Bay Alarm Medical’s 24/7 monitoring center.

Service and Monitoring

Like the rest of Bay Alarm Medical’s mobile systems, the SOS All-in-One features a 4G LTE cellular connection. It also comes with GPS tracking, so you can receive help at your exact location, no matter where you are. For an extra $10 per month (plus an additional $30 equipment fee), you can also add automatic fall detection for more robust protection.

Bundle Packages

For the best of both worlds, Bay Alarm offers a few packages that combine in-home and on-the-go services. You can save around $60 per year by bundling a mobile and in-home solution compared to purchasing the systems separately. Keep in mind that prices will be higher overall, starting at $59.95 per month, and there are one-time equipment fees for mobile devices. So make sure you’ll use them enough to get your money’s worth.

Still struggling to decide which system is right for you? Visit our guide to medical alert systems. This resource will help you make a decision by comparing important features and providing insider tips for choosing the best system for you.

Bay alarm medical

Bay Alarm Medical Bundle

Add-On Features and Accessories

Bay Alarm Medical has add-ons similar to other companies I’ve reviewed, like Medical Guardian. Most charge a one-time fee, but a few have recurring monthly charges.

Lockbox

During emergencies, EMS are trained to enter into people’s homes by any means necessary. With Bay Alarm Medical’s lockbox, you can let first responders enter your home without breaking down the door. Just set up a secret four-digit code, place up to five house keys inside the lock, and secure it around the front door. Bay Alarm Medical operators will give EMS the code during an emergency. This add-on costs $30.

Additional Help Buttons

All in-home packages come with one wearable (wrist or necklace) help button at no extra cost. You can order an extra button for $39 if you’d like added protection or convenience.

Bay Alarm Medical - Wall Button

Bay Alarm Medical — Wall Button

Wall Buttons

These wall-mounted help buttons are designed to signal for help when you are not holding or wearing your help button. Wall buttons can be placed in high-risk areas like the bottom of stairs or the bathroom. These buttons are $35 each.

Bella Charms

Worried that your wearable help button is an eyesore? Bay Alarm Medical offers their signature Bella Charms for $25 apiece, or four charms for $90, which transform help buttons into a stylish necklace. These sleeves easily clip onto the front of your help button.

Vial of Life

The Vial of Life is an $8 magnetic card that lists your vital medical history, allergies, and medications. You can stick it on the fridge to help EMS quickly assess medical needs and prevent treatment mistakes. When my SOS Smartwatch arrived, a Vial of Life card came included.

Automatic Fall Detection Buttons

The auto fall detection pendant automatically places a call for help after a fall, even if you can’t press your help button. Sensors pick up downward movement followed by no movement before triggering a response. I’d recommend this add-on for any seniors with a history of falls or medical conditions that put them at a higher risk of falling. You’ll pay $10 per month for this pendant and a one-time $30 equipment fee, and you can add additional pendants for a spouse or roommate for an additional monthly and equipment fee.

My Vial of Life card

My Vial of Life card

Auto Fall Detection

The auto fall detection pendant automatically places a call for help after a fall, even if you can’t press your help button. Sensors pick up downward movement followed by no movement before triggering a response. I’d recommend this add-on for any seniors with a history of falls or medical conditions that put them at a higher risk of falling. You’ll pay $10 per month for this pendant, and you can add additional pendants for a spouse or roommate for an additional monthly fee.

The Bottom Line on Bay Alarm Medical

I found Bay Alarm Medical to be an affordable provider with the right features to keep older adults safe, including fast response times, automatic fall detection, and 24/7 monitoring. I appreciate their stellar customer service team and extensive language support. Bay Alarm Medical’s products stand out as durable and easy to use. The company has stepped up its game with the SOS Smartwatch, an excellent choice for active older adults who want a high-tech system.

All in all, I was happy with my Bay Alarm experience and would recommend this top medical alert provider! In fact, Bay Alarm Medical ranks No. 1 for medical alert systems on our best list. If you want to compare Bay Alarm Medical to other medical alert systems to help you make a decision, read our guide to the best medical alert systems.

Watch our latest Bay Alarm Medical video review for an inside look at this provider’s medical alert systems.

Our Methodology

Submerging Bay Alarm Medical's SOS Mobile system to put its water-resistance to the test

Submerging Bay Alarm Medical’s SOS Mobile system to put its water-resistance to the test

Wondering how we rate and review medical alert systems? Every product that we review goes through hands-on testing and evaluation. As we test medical alert systems, we rank them using several criteria, including ease of use, reliability, value for money, response times, customer service, and available features. We give every provider a star rating out of five, so readers can easily compare systems and companies. We also receive feedback from older adults about the products whenever possible. Visit our medical alert system methodology guide to learn more about our testing process.

Frequently Asked Questions About Bay Alarm Medical

Citations
  1. Bay Alarm Medical. (2023). Language Line Services.

  2. National Council on Aging (NCOA). (2023). Get the Facts on Falls Prevention.

Written By:
Jeff Hoyt
Editor in Chief
As Editor-in-Chief of the personal finance site MoneyTips.com, Jeff produced hundreds of articles on the subject of retirement, including preventing identity theft, minimizing taxes, investing successfully, preparing for retirement medical costs, protecting your credit score, and making your money last… Learn More About Jeff Hoyt
Reviewed By:
Linda Schlenker
Fall Prevention & Senior Safety Expert
Linda earned her Master’s degree in Occupational Therapy from Tufts University and has assisted 10,000+ seniors throughout her 25-year career. She specializes in home health care and fall prevention for seniors and has nearly three decades of experience recommending medical… Learn More About Linda Schlenker