Long Range Medical Alert Systems
In order for a medical alert system to function properly, it is necessary to stay within range of the base station so that the signal can send and receive alerts. When you press the alert button on your wristband or pendant, a signal is sent to the base station. Once the signal is received, a call is placed to the medical alert company’s call center. From there, you can communicate with an operator via 2-way speakerphone on the base station or your pendant.
Range is particularly important when it comes to medical alerts because regardless of whether you have a landline or mobile device, you will need to stay within the optimal range for your particular base station for the medical alert to work. Mobile devices are highly recommended these days. As long as you are within areas covered by your cellular network, then you will be able to use the medical alert system without issues. In-home systems may have limited range. This means that if for example, your base station is placed inside your home and you are out working in your backyard, the medical alert system may not be able to process signals consistently. As you might imagine, this is especially problematic for those who live in a big house, or spend a lot of time away from home.
The Importance of Long Range in a Medical Alert System
Long range is crucial in a medical alert system because if you buy one without enough range for your lifestyle, you could be left without access to medical help in emergencies if you are out of the coverage area. For example, if you own a medical alert system with a 400-foot range but you have a big backyard, you may not be covered once you have walked a short distance away from it. Buying a medical alert system with enough range would eliminate this issue and could potentially save your life!
Optimal ranges will vary between systems and manufacturers. The best way to find out what type of range you need is to speak with a professional about your lifestyle and needs. From there, he or she can advise which device will work best for you!
How is Range Calculated in a Medical Alert System?
Signal capability between the base station and the medical alert device is what determines the range of a medical alert system. The connection between these two is what makes it possible for communication with the monitoring center when the help button is pressed.
If you get an in-home system, it is best to put the base station somewhere central in your home to maximize range. Keeping the medical alert device on your body, the range is the distance you can maneuver before your medical alert device loses signal and can no longer communicate with the base station. In-home systems are ideal for people who spend most of their time at home, or those who do not go out alone often.
Active individuals are better off with a mobile medical alert device. With a mobile system, you would not have to worry about how far away you are from the base station in your house. On-the-go medical alert devices rely on a cellular signal to communicate. The only thing you have to be sure of going this route is to know where your brand has network coverage. As long as your device is within the coverage areas, you will have signal!
Functions to Look Out For in a Long Range Medical Alert System
Long range is definitely one of the most important features in a medical alert system, but isn’t the only thing to look out for if you are shopping for one. Here are a few more essential functions to consider.
Long Battery Life
With medical alert systems, it can become a great hassle to have to regularly recharge batteries and switch them out. Avoid this issue by choosing a system with long battery life. There will be less of a chance you will run out of a charge or be without coverage. Most medical alert systems are made with batteries that only last between 24-72 hours. Do some research to find one with extended battery life. There are some out there that can last 5 days or more!
2-Way Voice Communication
Being able to communicate with an operator at the monitoring center through the help button on your medical alert device is a necessity. In emergencies, you can relay your problem over to the monitoring center, and get an appropriate response right away. Just about all medical alert brands offer this feature now, but some limit it to the base station only. Check to make sure that the 2-way voice communication feature works in the fashion that best suits your lifestyle.
Falls can be very dangerous, especially for young children and elderly people. In fact, in some cases, if help is not received quickly enough, falls can be deadly. If you fall and become unconscious, fall detection in your medical alert system would automatically sense the fall and be able to call for help.
GPS Location Services
Most medical alert systems are equipped with GPS location tracking, but not all. GPS location tracking devices are connected to a cellular network so that your caregivers and family members can know your whereabouts at all times, and call for help if ever needed. This feature is especially practical for people who love to spend time out of the home and exploring the great outdoors.
24/7 Emergency Response
The main reason why someone would invest in a medical alert system is the peace of mind knowing that help is just a press of a button away if ever needed. With that said, it is important to ensure that the device you choose offers 24/7 emergency response. This means that at any time you need help, there’s someone available to help you at your medical alert brand’s monitoring center. The monitoring center is responsible for sending medical assistance or contacting your family member or caregiver about your health condition.
Cellular monitoring involves a connection with a cellular network like your mobile phone does, versus relying on a landline. While cellular monitoring is typically more expensive than landline coverage in medical alert systems, it is highly recommended for most people who are active and want to maintain their independence. A cellular connection ensures you are covered both in and out of your home, anywhere your brand’s network has coverage. Long range medical alert systems should utilize a cellular signal so that you have access to help, regardless of where you go.
This feature involves a cellular connection to communicate, and offers an abundance of other useful functions for the wearer and caregiver(s). Many medical alert systems also have a companion mobile app, which has features like emergency alerts, activity tracking, calendars, medication reminders, and much more! Users can manage these features on their smartphones, and provide access to caregivers who can then log into the app to monitor the wearer’s activities and whereabouts.
If you are out of the home often, then a mobile device is the better choice. Mobile devices need wireless connectivity to function. As long as you have wireless connectivity, you and your loved ones wouldn’t have to worry about going out of range because the wireless connectivity will provide you with nationwide coverage where your device’s brand has network signal.
Nationwide coverage ensures that there is a connection between your medical alert device and the monitoring center at all times. It is important for every owner to have, but more so if you travel frequently because you would want to know that help is available wherever you are. Check to make sure that your system is a wireless mobile system equipped to communicate via a cellular network like AT&T. As long as you are in areas where the cellular network covers, your medical alert device will offer plenty of range.
Remember that a medical alert system is only as good as its range is. If you have a device with short range, chances are, you wouldn’t be able to rely on it to keep you safe at all times. The last thing you want to do is get a medical alert system only to find out that you can’t venture out past your backyard before losing range!
Even if you are home most of the time and feel like an in-home system will suffice, it is extra essential to make sure that it offers long range. This way, even if you live in a big house or want to spend time in the front yard or backyard of your home, you will have coverage and access to medical assistance when required. With longer range coverage, you won’t feel as confined to specific spots in your home close to the base station.
Otherwise, mobile medical alert systems are best for people who are active and not always around other people who can easily help them when needed. With mobile devices, you and your caregivers would not have to worry about range being an issue other than making sure you don’t venture out somewhere totally remote with no signal.
Many people shopping for a medical alert system are looking to maintain their independence without having to worry about their health preventing them from engaging in everyday activities, or have their family members worry about them. In addition to prompt medical assistance in urgent situations, medical alert systems with long ranges also provide peace of mind, and a sense of safety.