SeniorLiving.org is compensated by some providers on this site. This helps us keep our content free. Read more
We earn commission from some links. Read more

Best Medical Alert Systems with GPS

Our experts reviewed and researched 15 GPS medical alert systems and narrowed the list to their top 5 recommendations.

The 3 Best Brands
Accolades
How to Order
Call for best price:
800-555-4807
Scroll right for more options

Top 5 Highest Ranked GPS Medical Alert Systems

Owning a quality GPS medical alert system is often the difference between a small fall and a life-threatening injury. That’s why they are no longer a luxury, but a necessity for seniors. But how do you go about choosing one? Don’t worry, you’re in good hands. If you have made the decision to invest in this life-saving technology for yourself or a loved one, you know there are seemingly endless options. So we’ve made it easy for you by ranking the top 5 GPS medical alert systems for 2020. See our picks below.

Here are the Best GPS Medical Alert Systems for 2020

  • Medical Guardian - This company sells Active Guardian and Mobile Guardian along with the sleek-looking Freedom Guardian smartwatch.
  • MobileHelp - MobileHelp has some offerings similar to Medical Guardian’s, including a smartwatch with a different look from the Freedom Guardian.
  • Bay Alarm Medical - This company has a GPS system for seniors on the go in addition to an in-car system that plugs into the cigarette lighter socket.
  • GreatCall - GreatCall sells phones equipped with emergency alert buttons along with two other GPS medical alert systems.
  • LifeStation - This company sells the only GPS medical alert system that works with Amazon Alexa.

How We Chose The Top 5 GPS Medical Alert Systems

We identified the top 15 GPS medical alert brands and narrowed it down to 5 of our favorites based on a number of criteria. We looked at affordability, service, ease of use, response times, and other factors to rank the best GPS medical alert systems on the market. Take a look at the systems we have deemed the best of the best.

15
Products considered
5
Experts consulted
10
Products selected
86
Hours of research
  • 1. Medical Guardian
    Ease of use Excellent
    Equipment Excellent
    Service & Response Excellent
    Features & Tech Excellent
    Pricing

    Overview

    Medical Guardian was founded in 2005 by Geoff Gross after his grandmother fell multiple times and needed help. The company sells three GPS medical alert systems, and they run on the AT&T cellular network. Active Guardian is newer than Mobile Guardian, and the third offering is the Freedom Guardian, which is a smartwatch.

    The Active Guardian system is aimed at particularly active seniors, including those who walk and shop, but it is easy to use at home. Your parents wear the device as a lanyard, and fall detection can be added for $10 a month. The system is lightweight and features Wi-Fi technology in addition to GPS.

    At first glance, the Mobile Guardian system may seem clunky with both a base that can stand alone and a wearable emergency help button. This button is on a neck pendant or on a wristband (black or white). The system is a cross between an in-home and mobile system. However, the base is light enough and small enough to fit in most pockets and purses. It can also be clipped onto belts. Seniors can choose to take just the base when they go out and forego the wearable. The Mobile Guardian really shines when seniors are active around their home such as in their garden. They can wear the emergency help button instead of having to bring the base. The emergency button must be within about 350 feet of the base for a response to be activated. That’s about the length of a football field.

    The Freedom Guardian smartwatch features GPS location tracking, cellular connectivity, oversized icons, low-battery notifications, an analog watch face and an adjustable wristband. It also has text-to-speech messaging between caregivers and seniors, reminders and alerts (like for medication, doctor’s appointments and social outings), and a three-day weather forecast. Family members can download the Freedom Guardian mobile app for seniors’ location tracking, emergency alert histories and other data.

    Pros
    • Active Guardian has a battery life of up to five days
    • Translation service for operators supports 200+ languages
    • Active Guardian and Mobile Guardian are waterproof for bath and shower use
    • All mobile systems have two-way communication capabilities
    • No contracts required and no activation fees
    Cons
    • No automatic fall detection available with Freedom Guardian smartwatch
    • Freedom Guardian is water resistant but not recommended for use while showering or swimming

    Pricing

    With all three devices, you choose among monthly, quarterly, semiannual and annual plans. The annual plans have more features than the monthly plans do. For example, say that you opt for the annual Active Guardian plan. It costs a lump sum of $439.45 per year and includes a month of free service, free ground shipping and a lockbox so emergency responders can get into the house quicker. Meanwhile, the monthly plan includes none of that, although you can get the lockbox for an additional $2.99 a month.

    The quarterly plan comes with free shipping, and the semiannual plan has the free lockbox and free shipping. You can add fall detection technology for $10 to the Mobile and Active for each wearable (pendants and wristbands).

    If your equipment gets lost or damaged, a Medical Guardian protection plan may help. Otherwise, you may be charged a lost or damaged equipment fee up to $350 when canceling the plan or requesting new equipment.

    Chargers are included for the devices. For a separate fee, you can get car chargers, monthly protection plans, fall detection buttons and other accessories.

    For the Active Guardian, the monthly equipment and monitoring price is $39.95. Quarterly, it’s $119.85, which breaks down to $39.95 per month. The semiannual plan is $239.70 ($39.95 per month), and the annual plan is $439.45 ($36.62 per month).

    For the Mobile Guardian, the monthly plan is $49.95. The quarterly plan is $149.85 ($49.95 per month), while the semiannual plan is $299.70 ($49.95 per month). The annual plan costs $549.45 ($45.79 per month).

    The Freedom Guardian smartwatch has two separate charges. The first is $99 for the watch, which you can keep. The second charge is for monitoring. Monthly, it costs $44.95 and $134.85 quarterly. The semiannual plan is $269.70, and the latter two plans break down to $44.95 a month. At $494.45, the annual plan costs the equivalent of $41.20 per month.

    The Bottom Line

    Medical Guardian is a trustworthy, quality company. Any of its three GPS medical alert systems could be ideal for your parents’ needs, although some plans cost a bit more compared with plans from other companies. Active Guardian is worn around the neck as a lanyard and may be too noticeable for some seniors. They may prefer the Freedom Guardian smartwatch or even the Mobile Guardian with a base they can stick into their pockets or purses. Of course, they can do the same with the Active Guardian lanyard.

    The smartwatch is nice and sleek. It’s a truly useful watch in many ways and may make seniors feel better about wearing a medical alert device. It’s also a plus that family members can use the watch to communicate with their loved ones. If a smartwatch appeals, compare the looks and features of the Freedom Guardian and the MobileHelp Smart explained below.

  • 2. MobileHelp
    Ease of use Excellent
    Equipment Excellent
    Service & Response Excellent
    Features & Tech Excellent
    Pricing

    Overview

    MobileHelp, based in the Research Park at Florida Atlantic University, offers four GPS medical alert devices: MobileHelp Duo, Mobile Duo, MobileHelp Solo and MobileHelp Smart.

    MobileHelp Duo is for seniors to use both at home and on the go. It comes with a larger base that stays at home, a mobile base and one help button (pendant or wristband) for mobile use. Both bases have emergency buttons. The neck pendant or wrist button needs to be within 350 feet of the mobile device for optimal response. The mobile base plus the button make the system similar in some ways to Medical Guardian’s Mobile Guardian. The MobileHelp Duo system includes a free lockbox and free AT&T cellular coverage. The base station that you keep at home has emergency, test and reset buttons as well as a display for time, date and temperature. Automatic fall detection is available for an extra $10 a month per button.

    MobileHelp Solo is similar to MobileHelp Duo except it does not have the larger base station to keep at home. In other words, it’s even more similar to Medical Guardian’s Mobile Guardian.

    Mobile Duo comes with two mobile bases and two help buttons. It is for two people to use (spouses or roommates, for example). It is the only mobile medical alert GPS system that does this and can save users as much as $40 a month.

    MobileHelp Smart is a smartwatch that can get seniors emergency attention and help them set and meet fitness goals. It features a heart rate monitor and weather forecasts.

    Pros
    • No contracts required and no activation fees
    • Spanish bilingual speakers available, and interpreting service from LanguageLine provides assistance in more than 240 languages
    • Smartwatch battery lasts up to two days on a single charge
    • 30-day risk-free trial period
    • Water repellent technology; smartwatch is fully waterproof
    Cons
    • Smartwatch requires a $349.95 lump sum purchase plus $24.95 monthly monitoring
    • No automatic fall detection or caregiver contacts available with smartwatch
    • Smartwatch help button may be hard to find among other buttons in emergencies

    Pricing

    Pricing comes in four tiers: monthly, quarterly, semiannual and annual. A free lockbox is included in every tier, and most tiers include free ground shipping. However, fall detection is an extra $10 a month and is compatible with the Duo and Solo systems.

    Monthly plans cost $41.95 for the MobileHelp Duo. Quarterly plans are $119.85, which breaks down to $39.95 per month. Semiannual plans are $221.70 ($36.95 per month), and annual plans are $443.40 ($36.95 per month).

    For the Mobile Duo, the monthly plan is $44.95. The quarterly plan costs $128.85 ($42.95 per month), and the semiannual plan is $239.70 ($39.95 per month). The annual plan costs $479.40 ($39.95 per month).

    The MobileHelp Solo monthly plan is $37.95. For the quarterly plan, you’d pay $104.85, the equivalent of $34.95 per month. If you choose the semiannual plan, it’s $197.70 ($32.95 per month). The annual plan costs $395.40 ($32.95 per month).

    The MobileHelp Smart has two charges. The first is the $349.95 base price for the watch. Next, there is $24.95 monthly monitoring. However, when you purchase the watch, you must have at least $424.80 since the initial price includes the watch and three months of monitoring. Promo codes may be available to reduce the cost.

    For $5 a month, you can get Connect Premium on any of your purchases. This plan helps replace lost, stolen or damaged equipment. The plan also enables you to get discounts on other MobileHelp products and services.

    The Bottom Line

    MobileHelp’s GPS medical alert offerings are similar in many ways to Medical Guardian’s while being different enough. For example, the MobileHelp Smart watch’s looks or features may appeal to some, while others will prefer the looks or features of Freedom Guardian. Also, you need a lump sum of more than $400 to get started with the MobileHelp Smart. However, if you use the watch and monitoring plan long enough, you save money in the big picture.

    Meanwhile, Mobile Duo is an intriguing, cost-effective option for two people who want a GPS medical alert system. You basically get two mobile systems for the price of one.

    Really, MobileHelp is a trustworthy company, and you can’t go wrong with it or any of its GPS systems. However, it does not offer an all-in-one wearable solution similar to the Active Guardian.

  • 3. Bay Alarm Medical
    Ease of use Excellent
    Equipment Excellent
    Service & Response Excellent
    Features & Tech Excellent
    Pricing

    Overview

    Bay Alarm Medical, headquartered in Concord, California, offers an on-the-go wearable similar to Active Guardian. It’s a 4G LTS GPS help button and comes with a lanyard, case and charger. It runs on AT&T’s 4G LTE network.

    The company’s other GPS-equipped offering is an in-car medical alert. It plugs into the cigarette lighter socket and includes GPS capabilities, crash detection and two-way emergency communication. An app for family members to track driving seniors is also available.

    Pros
    • Sells the only in-car medical alert system
    • Options for caregiver tracking and in-home alerts, depending on protection plan
    • Safe for showers
    • Multilingual responder services with more than 170 languages supported
    • Package bundling if you want the GPS help button, in-car medical alert and a home-based system
    Cons
    • Company’s GPS devices are limited to the wearable help button and the in-car alert

    Pricing

    Multiple pricing packages exist. For example, if you are interested in the help button and not the in-car medical alert, you can choose among three protection plans. From there, choose between monthly and semiannual billing. You get free shipping with semiannual billing.

    Basic protection for the 4G LTS GPS help button costs $29.95 a month and comes with just the 24/7 monitoring that is standard for medical alert systems. Preferred protection is the most popular plan. Costing $39.95, it includes caregiver tracking and an auto fall detection help button with GPS. Premium protection costs $49.95 per month and includes everything that preferred protection does plus an in-home medical alert system.

    The caregiver tracking app enables you to check your parents’ real-time location and be notified if their device batteries are low, among other things. The in-home medical alert may be a good idea for families who want seniors to have a system that stays at home. The at-home device can also be used to answer phone calls. It’s fairly portable for vacations and does not require a standard landline.

    If you’re interested only in the in-car alert, it costs $29.95 per month. It comes with automatic crash detection and caregiver tracking.

    You have the option to bundle both GPS alert systems with an in-home system. This plan costs $59.95 a month and includes lockbox service in addition to the help button, in-car medical alert and in-home medical alert.

    Last but not least, you can bundle just the car alert with a home system. That costs $39.95 a month and comes with automatic crash detection and the in-car caregiver app.

    The Bottom Line

    The GPS plans with Bay Alarm Medical cost less than the comparable Active Guardian plans from Medical Guardian. Active Guardian does have a longer-lasting charge (up to five days versus up to three days for Bay Alarm Medical) and Wi-Fi technology that may mean quicker emergency response times on occasion. If you want a system to keep in your car for driving, Bay Alarm Medical sells the only option.

    Bay Alarm Medical could especially work for seniors and families who don’t want to wade through a potentially confusing array of GPS products. You have two baseline products to consider, and one of them is for the car. Of course, there are protection plans and accessories such as automatic fall detection buttons and lockboxes.

  • 4. GreatCall
    Ease of use Above Average
    Equipment Above Average
    Service & Response Above Average
    Features & Tech Above Average
    Pricing

    Overview

    GreatCall is a company that works to promote healthy and active aging. Its products include the Jitterbug Flip and Jitterbug Smart2 phones, which have bigger buttons and simplified menus. The phones have urgent response buttons and could be considered GPS medical alert systems.

    The company also sells (or will sell) two GPS-enabled medical alert devices, the Lively Mobile Plus (not yet on the market as of July 9, 2019, but coming soon) and the Lively Wearable that works with a smartphone.

    The Lively Mobile Plus is waterproof and has fall detection options. You can wear it on a lanyard, clip it onto a belt or carry it in a purse. It’s similar to Active Guardian and to Bay Alarm Medical’s help button.

    The Lively Wearable is an urgent response button that coordinates with your smartphone and 5Star emergency response agents. The wearable is waterproof with wristband and lanyard options, fitness tracking, daily challenges, Bluetooth connectivity and fall detection options. You must have an Android 4.4 or iPhone iOS 8.0 or later. The connectivity range is about 150 feet, not a problem if you want to wear it in the shower while keeping your phone elsewhere in the bathroom.

    Pros
    • Two phones with an urgent response button
    • GreatCall Link app to notify family members when seniors send an alert
    • Options for personal operator (help with finding addresses, scheduling rides and setting up appointments) and urgent care (24/7 access to medical professionals)
    • Contracted to use Verizon network; 5Star agents have multilingual support
    • No annual contracts and no cancellation fees
    Cons
    • Not much information yet on the Lively Mobile Plus
    • Lively Wearable temporarily sells out
    • Activation fees

    Pricing

    The Jitterbug Flip starts at $99.99 for the phone itself, with activation, shipping and tax fees coming separately. You get a free car and wall charger. You can choose a basic $19.99 monthly package with 5Star urgent response. For $29.99, you get 5Star, Urgent Care and GreatCall Link. For $34.99, you get the previous features plus handset replacement and a personal operator.

    The Jitterbug Smart2 starts at $149.99 for the phone itself, with additional charges for shipping, tax and activation. You get a free car and wall charger. The monthly health and safety packages come in the same pricing tiers as they do for the Jitterbug Flip.

    With both phones, you pay separately for talk and data, as they’re not included in the monthly health and safety package. For the Jitterbug Smart2, unlimited talk and text with unlimited data costs $40 a month. Unlimited talk and text costs $20, and you must choose one of four data plans ranging from $2.49 for 100 MB to $15 for 2.5 GB.

    For the Jitterbug Flip, you can get unlimited minutes and text (picture messaging included) for $20 a month. You can choose other talk and text plans too.

    Suppose you get the Jitterbug Smart2 with the $29.99 health and safety package and unlimited talk and text and data for $40. That’s at least $70 monthly (remember, taxes are separate) plus the $149.99 base price for the phone itself. However, you do get a nifty phone in addition to a medical alert system.

    The Lively Mobile Plus costs $49.99 for the equipment plus three monthly pricing tiers: basic, preferred and ultimate. The basic tier is $24.99 and includes only the 5Star urgent response monitoring. The preferred tier is $29.99 and adds the caregiver app GreatCall Link to the package. The ultimate tier is $39.99 and adds fall detection and product replacement along with GreatCall Link.

    Meanwhile, the Lively Wearable costs $49.99 for the equipment with a $14.99 monthly plan and activation (plus whatever you pay for the smartphone and smartphone service).

    The Bottom Line

    The Lively Mobile Plus may be a more cost-attractive option than standalone help buttons offered from other companies. However, it is not on the market yet (as of July 9, 2019), and some rollout kinks may need to be worked out. Since users own the button, they won’t be charged any fees for loss or damage.

    GreatCall’s phones, by merit of having a GPS medical alert button, may be the preference of some seniors. However, if seniors already have a recent smartphone, they can get the Lively Wearable for a mere $14.99 monthly plan (plus $49.99 for wearable itself and a few other fees). However, this system does seem to sell out every once in a while. It can be frustrating to want one but have no devices in stock.

    GreatCall uses Verizon’s network while many other medical alert systems use AT&T. If AT&T service is not available in your area, Verizon service may be.

    Services such as personal operator and urgent care are great touches. GreatCall has teamed up with Lyft. If you have a plan with personal operator, dial “0” to arrange a ride (billed to your monthly plan). Personal operators can also do other tasks for seniors such as sending a locksmith to their home. Meanwhile, prescriptions and 24/7 medical advice are available through the urgent care option. No insurance is necessary to use it.

  • 5. LifeStation
    Ease of use Above Average
    Equipment Above Average
    Service & Response Above Average
    Features & Tech Above Average
    Pricing

    Overview

    LifeStation has been a medical alert industry player for decades. It offers two in-home systems and a mobile GPS system, which is its most popular offering. Fall detection is optional with the systems.

     

    Pros
    • LifeStation Mobile is the only medical alert system that works with Amazon Alexa
    • You can locate your loved one through Alexa
    • LifeStation Mobile lasts five days on a single charge and can be fully charged in three hours
    • Device weighs about 2 ounces and can be worn around the neck or in a pocket or purse
    • Most plans include fall detection
    Cons
    • Buying the system online is complicated
    • Website is not user-friendly and encourages customers to purchase by calling customer service or submitting an online contact form
    • Multilingual support may be limited (ask customer support about languages other than English if this is a concern)

    Pricing

    Three monthly protection plans are available for the LifeStation Mobile: standard, select and supreme. Supreme, the priciest, costs $39.95 a month and includes fall detection, free shipping, free activation, a protection plan, 24/7 monitoring, a waterproof help button and the Find My Loved One service if the device gets lost. The equipment also works with Amazon Alexa.

    The Select plan costs $34.95. Other than cost, the only difference between it and Supreme is that Select has no fall detection.

    The Standard plan is $29.95. It has no fall detection and no protection plan. It has a one-time activation fee of $49.95.

    The Bottom Line

    Other companies make it easier to order their medical alert systems online, but LifeStation does offer quality products. If you don’t mind ordering on the phone or chasing down the right purchase links, then LifeStation’s device could be what you’re looking for.

    The LifeStation GPS system is the company’s most popular product and is competitive with Active Guardian, the 4G LTS GPS help button and the Lively Mobile Plus. If you love using Alexa, LifeStation’s mobile product works with it while products from other companies don’t.

What Is a GPS Medical Alert System?

A GPS medical alert system uses location tracking for quick and efficient emergency response. It draws upon a baseline network of 24 satellites to transmit accurate positions and time signals. People can use it to send medical alerts, to navigate unfamiliar routes and to check traffic conditions, among other things.

What Are the Benefits of Owning a GPS Medical Alert System?

GPS medical alert systems are many steps ahead of traditional 911 systems, which tend to run on technology at least 20 years old. For example, 911 systems may rely on cell towers to tell them where callers are, and that’s not good enough in an emergency. The Wall Street Journal explains that even a one-minute difference in response times could save 10,000 lives a year.

GPS medical alert systems provide peace of mind to seniors, their family members and their caregivers. Many plans allow relatives to see at a glance where their loved ones are, and the systems can be useful for active seniors while also serving them at home.

What Costs Should You Expect with GPS Medical Alert Systems?

Medical alert companies generally have payment plans (monthly, quarterly, semiannual and annual). These plans typically include 24/7 monitoring, the use of a medical alert device, and sometimes, other equipment. Other times, you pay extra per month for additional equipment and accessories such as a lockbox. Most of the time, you do not own the equipment you use, smartwatches and phones being notable exceptions. When you cancel your plan, you send the equipment back unless you paid a lump sum upfront for it (like with GreatCall).

Depending on the plan, the fees associated with shipping and activation may be waived. The medical alert companies regularly have promotional specials, which could save you a tidy sum of money.

Should You Get Fall Detection?

Fall detection usually comes with an extra charge per month or is included in many higher-tier pricing plans. This technology can often tell when a senior has fallen. It alerts emergency operators, who follow procedures to help the senior.

Fall detection comes in useful when a senior falls and is unable to press a button to get help. However, it is not a 100% fail-safe. Every website selling it should have a disclaimer. MobileHelp’s is this: “Fall Button does not detect 100% of falls. If able, users should always push their help button when they need assistance. Fall Button is not intended to replace a caregiver for users dealing with serious health issues.”

Fall detection can provide additional peace of mind, especially to seniors who live alone and their families. Seniors sustain serious injuries in falls every day, and they may not always be alert enough to press a help button. If your family can afford fall detection, it may be worth a try.

Looking for Help Choosing a Medical Alert System?
We can help! Answer 5 simple questions and we'll make a recommendation for you or your loved one.