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Medical Care Alert vs. Medical Guardian, Compared and Tested by Tech Experts

Medical Care Alert offers three simple systems backed by EMT-certified response agents, while Medical Guardian has a variety of high-tech systems and add-ons.

Taylor Shuman Taylor Shuman Senior Tech Expert & Editor
Linda Schlenker Linda Schlenker Occupational Therapist

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Key Takeaways

  • Medical Care Alert is our top pick for simple systems and perks like a free lockbox.
  • Medical Guardian is best for those who want sleek, high-tech systems and add-on options. The brand is also one of our picks for this year’s best medical alert systems.

Medical Care Alert and Medical Guardian are both well-established medical alert system companies with excellent reputations. While their service charges are similar, there are some key differences between the companies that you’ll want to consider. Our tech experts spent over 50 hours researching, comparing, and testing medical alert systems to learn the ins and outs of these companies. We’ll examine all of the essential details we discovered below, including factors like equipment fees, contracts, trials, and more. We’ll also include several comparison charts, so you can easily see the differences in these companies and determine which medical alert system is right for you.

A Side-by-Side Look at Medical Care Alert vs. Medical Guardian

  Medical Care Alert Medical Guardian logo
Price range $29.95 to $39.95 per month $29.95 to $44.95 per month
Discounts for quarterly or annual payment plans Annual plans receive one month free. Annual payments save 16 percent and get a free lockbox and free shipping.
Equipment fees $149.95 equipment fee for the smartwatch No activation fees. Equipment fees range from $0 to $199.95.
Contracts None None
Money-back guarantee 14-day trial Prorated refund available for unused service period for monthly or annual subscriptions
Fall detection cost $10 per month $10 per month
Mobile app Yes Yes
Water-resistant equipment Yes Yes
24/7 monitoring Yes Yes
Two-way communication Yes Yes
In-home range 1,000 feet 1,300 feet
Battery life for on-the-go systems Up to three days Up to five days
Cellular connection AT&T or T-Mobile AT&T or Verizon
Language support Not specified English and Spanish, translation service available for other languages
Website

About Medical Care Alert

Medical Care Alert system

Medical Care Alert system

Medical Care Alert offers three medical alert systems for use at home and while on the go. The company offers a 14-day trial, while Medical Guardian doesn’t offer a trial. Medical Care Alert also offers a free lockbox to give family and emergency responders access to your home, but Medical Guardian charges for a lockbox add-on, unless you pay annually. Medical Care Alert’s monthly costs are comparable to Medical Guardian. However, Medical Care Alert only charges an equipment fee for its smartwatch, which helps to keep costs down.

Did You Know?

Did You Know? Technology can enhance seniors’ lives and improve their safety in many ways. Learn more about the different types of technology available for seniors.

One major defining feature of Medical Care Alert is the fact that its U.S.-based operators are EMT-certified, meaning they may be better prepared to handle emergency medical calls than operators at other companies. Additionally, the service includes a free smartphone app that allows you to track the smartwatch’s location, which can be a helpful way to keep an eye on your loved one.

Pros About Pros

  • U.S.-based operators are EMT-certified.
  • Free lockbox
  • In an emergency, texts and calls to your contact list are free.
  • Price is locked in once you subscribe.
  • 14-day trial
  • Monthly, quarterly, semiannual, and annual billing available
  • Free smartphone app lets you see device location, weather, recent events, and more.
  • Home & Away Mini lets you tap the side button to call a contact for a quick check-in.

Cons About Cons

  • $149.95 smartwatch equipment fee
  • Only three systems to choose from

About Medical Guardian

Testing out Medical Guardian's MGHome Cellular system

Testing out Medical Guardian's MGHome Cellular system

Medical Guardian offers more device and add-on choices than Medical Care Alert. The company offers five systems, including cellular and landline systems for use at home and on the go. Like Medical Care Alert, Medical Guardian’s monitoring services are based in the United States. Medical Guardian’s services are competitively priced, but the equipment fees increase your upfront costs.

» Learn More: Medical Guardian Review

When testing Medical Guardian devices, we found the setup was easy, and agents were quick to respond in less than a minute. We liked Medical Guardian’s sleek equipment, with systems ranging from a smartwatch to a modern-looking in-home system. The customer service representatives we spoke to were also helpful and friendly.

Learn More:

Learn More: Along with Medical Guardian, we’ve tested dozens of other medical alert systems. Learn more about our medical alert testing process and what’s involved.

Pros About Pros

  • Five systems for at-home and on-the-go use
  • Choice of landline or cellular services
  • Monitoring services are U.S.-based.
  • Lots of add-ons let you customize your system.
  • Easily manage devices through the online portal.
  • Option to cancel your service at any time

Cons About Cons

  • No money-back guarantee or trial offered
  • Equipment fees for some systems

Comparing Medical Care Alert and Medical Guardian Medical Alert Systems

Medical Care Alert

System Monthly price Equipment fee Connection Designed for Best for
HOME Medical Alert System $29.95 None Landline or cellular In home Those who spend lots of time at home
Home & Away Mini GPS Medical Alert System $39.95 None Cellular On the go Active seniors who are often away from home
Senior Smart Watch with GPS $39.95 $149.95 Cellular On the go Active seniors who want a slim watch they can wear anywhere they go

Medical Guardian

System Starting price Equipment fee Connection Designed for Best for
MGClassic $29.95 per month None Landline In home Those who spend lots of time at home and have poor cell reception
MGHome Cellular $37.95 per month $149.95 Cellular In home Those who spend lots of time at home
MGMini Lite $44.95 per month $149.95 Cellular On the go Seniors who want a slim, simple watch
MGMini $39.95 per month $149.95 Cellular On the go Seniors who want a slim, stylish device
MGMove $39.95 per month $199.95 Cellular On the go Active seniors who want a smartwatch system

Add-On Features and Equipment

Medical Care Alert and Medical Guardian both offer add-on features and equipment that allow you to customize the medical alert systems to your needs.

Medical Care Alert:

  • Fall detection is available for $10 per month.
  • HOME Fall Detection Pendant can be added to the HOME-MXD or HOME-LTE systems for $65.
  • A HOME Medical Alert Wall Button is waterproof and lets you call the monitoring system by pressing the button. It costs $39.95.
  • Upgrade your medical alert button with a jewelry pendant holder for $49.95.

» Money-Saving Resource: Most Affordable Medical Alert Systems

Medical Guardian:

  • Optional fall detection costs $10 per month.
  • OnGuard alerts cost $2.99 per month. With this service, Medical Guardian will send a text or email to everyone on your caregiver list to alert them if an emergency occurs.
  • A wall-mounted button and a voice-activated wall-mounted button can be installed in your home. The button allows you to call the monitoring center during an emergency. These buttons cost $2.99 to $4.99 per month.
  • A lockbox gives emergency responders or family members access to your key, so they can get into your home without breaking in. It costs $2.99 per month, but it is included free with some packages.

Our Final Thoughts on Medical Care Alert vs. Medical Guardian

Both Medical Care Alert and Medical Guardian have excellent reputations for providing quality products and emergency response services. While Medical Guardian offers more device and add-on choices, Medical Care Alert stands out for its EMT-certified operators. Both companies offer features like fall detection and two-way communication, as well as devices designed for use while at home and on the go.

Medical Care Alert is best for:

  • Those who want a free trial.
  • Those who don’t care about extra bells and whistles.
  • Those who want to avoid equipment fees.

Medical Guardian is best for: 

  • Those who want high-tech systems.
  • Those who want plenty of choices and customization options.
  • Those who want lots of add-ons.
Written By:
Taylor Shuman
Senior Tech Expert & Editor
As SeniorLiving.org’s tech expert and editor, Taylor has years of experience reviewing products and services for seniors. She is passionate about breaking down stigmas related to seniors and technology. She loves finding innovative ways to teach seniors about products and… Learn More About Taylor Shuman
Reviewed By:
Linda Schlenker
Occupational Therapist
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