Medical Guardian Review 2024

A high-tech medical alert system to meet most needs

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SeniorLiving.org Rating:
4.8 of 5
Questions? Speak with a Medical Guardian Specialist:
855-919-4522
$29.95/mo. Starting Price
5 Plan Options
$10 Fall Detection
13+ Years in Business

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:
4.8 of 5
Questions? Speak with a Medical Guardian Specialist:
855-919-4522
Jeff Hoyt taylor shuman
Jeff Hoyt, Editor in Chief Taylor Shuman, Senior Tech Expert & Editor

As a bit of a closet tech nerd who has been testing dozens of medical alert systems for the past three years, including several Medical Guardian systems, I’ve been looking forward to trying out Medical Guardian’s smartwatch, the MGMove. Plus, my grandma wanted to try a medical alert watch, so I knew she’d want to test it with me! The MGMove is an exciting device for an older adult intrigued by the idea of a smartwatch, but it’s not for everyone. We also tested some of Medical Guardian’s other systems, including MGClassic, the company’s entry-level in-home system.

Medical Guardian’s lineup of medical alert systems caters to a diverse range of needs and lifestyles, whether you’re on the hunt for an in-home system or a discreet on-the-go option. I also appreciate Medical Guardian’s customizable features, with everything from waterproof fall-alert pendants to wall help buttons. The company ranks No. 2 on our list of the best medical alert systems for its high-tech offerings. Below, I’ll walk you through my grandma’s and my experience using Medical Guardian!

Current Deal:

Current Deal: Medical Guardian is currently running a buy-one-get-one free deal for MGMini equipment. You can also score a free month of service, free shipping, and a free lockbox!

Our editor Taylor Shuman's grandma testing out MGClassic

Our editor Taylor Shuman’s grandma testing out MGClassic

Pros and Cons

Pros About Medical Guardian

  • High quality: One of the first things I noticed when I took the Medical Guardian equipment out of the box was the high quality. It seemed sturdy and well made.
  • Custom features: Medical Guardian’s systems offer unique and customizable features, including a caregiver app and wall buttons, that allow customers to build the right system for their lifestyles.
  • Comprehensive systems: Medical Guardian offers five packages to choose from. Whether you’re active, a homebody, or a mix of both, Medical Guardian has a package for you.
  • Anytime cancellation policy: Unlike some other companies we’ve reviewed, like Life Alert, which locks you into a three-year contract, Medical Guardian requires no contracts. You can cancel your service at any time without incurring a penalty.
  • Ease of use: Medical Guardian’s systems are all very easy to set up and use. Each system only features a few buttons to keep things as simple and intuitive as possible.

Cons About Medical Guardian

  • High monthly rates: Medical Guardian has higher monthly rates than some other companies in the industry. If you’re on a tight budget, you can find less expensive options. However, we do believe that Medical Guardian’s systems offer great value for money.
  • AT&T or Verizon coverage requirement: The company’s cellular systems require strong AT&T or Verizon coverage (provided by Medical Guardian), so if you live in an area with poor reception, the on-the-go system may not be the best option for you. Your only option will be the MGClassic, which is an at-home landline system.
  • No free trial period: Medical Guardian doesn’t offer a free trial like other companies do. If you’d like to try out a system with a free trial, visit our LifeStation review or Bay Alarm Medical review.

Overview of Medical Guardian

The Buying Experience

After years of researching and reviewing medical alert systems for SeniorLiving.org, I’ve learned that talking to an expert who knows the ins and outs of each system can help you choose the best one for your lifestyle. So, I decided to hop on the phone with a Medical Guardian customer service representative to learn more about the systems.

When I called, Chelsea, the representative I spoke with, was friendly and patient. I was curious about how long the battery lasts on the MGMove smartwatch. Chelsea said it lasts 18-24 hours, and the system includes an audio announcement of the battery status whenever the watch is removed from the charging cradle.

Buyer’s Tip:

Buyer’s Tip: Medical Guardian doesn’t have long-term contracts, so you can cancel your service at any time. If you’ve paid upfront for service that you haven’t yet used, the company will give you a prorated refund. Medical Guardian also offers a 14-day return window for the MGMove smartwatch for a refund.

The company’s website is easy to navigate and includes all the details for every product, so you don’t have to go hunting for information. There is also a live chat feature on the website where you can get your questions answered quickly. I was pleasantly surprised by the representative’s response time. When I tested the chat feature, it only took around five to 10 seconds to get in touch with someone! Overall, Medical Guardian offers excellent customer service, and every representative I spoke with was patient, kind, and stayed on the line until all my questions were answered.

Once I had all my questions answered, I selected several systems to try out. When you reach the checkout page, you’ll choose your payment option: monthly, quarterly, or annually. The annual option will save you up to $45 every year, depending on your chosen package.

Setting Up My System

MGMove Setup

Our MGMove package arrived at my grandma’s house with a black smartwatch, an adjustable watchband, a charging station, and a charging cord. Before you test the system, Medical Guardian recommends fully charging the watch, which takes about two hours. The smartwatch supports wireless charging, so, I simply placed the watch on the charging station so that the prongs on the back of the watch and the charging station lined up.

Once it was done charging, my grandma strapped on the watch and held down the black button on the side of the watch for 20 seconds to power it up. The watch’s home screen displayed the time and date, along with four other icons: a step tracker, weather app, SOS help button, and test button.

To test out the watch’s emergency help feature, I told my grandma to hold down the red button on the side of the watch for five seconds or tap on the SOS icon on the screen. She was promptly connected to an emergency operator and used the two-way audio feature to let the operator know that we were running a test.

You can also use the blue test icon on the watch’s screen, which will accurately check your signal without actually connecting you to a representative. Medical Guardian recommends running these tests at least once a month to ensure your device is working properly.

MGClassic Setup

The second system we tested was the MGClassic, Medical Guardian’s only landline system. Our package came with a base station and a wearable help button. I plugged the base station into a phone jack and wall outlet in my grandma’s bedroom. After that, my grandma pressed the power button and put on her wristband help button, and she was ready to go.

Advice From the Experts:

Advice From the Experts: For Medical Guardian’s in-home systems, the MGClassic and MGHome Cellular, it’s important to place your base station in a central location of the home, like the kitchen, or a high-risk area like the bathroom.

To make a test call, she pressed the large black help button on the front of the base station until it turned blue, and we were connected to the monitoring center. I then tested out the wearable pendant by pressing the help button, and it quickly connected to the base station to call for help.

Contracts and Warranty

Medical Guardian doesn’t require long-term contracts, and the company only offers a limited 90-day warranty that covers malfunctions or technical issues. The representative let me know, however, that Medical Guardian offers an add-on protection plan for $6.99 per month if you want to avoid paying out of pocket for any lost, damaged, or stolen equipment. For comparison, Lifeline, a popular company we’ve reviewed, offers a one-year warranty.

Medical Guardian Systems at a Glance

Medical Guardian product Features Monthly plan pricing Monthly plan pricing Equipment fees Connection type
MGClassic
  • 1,300-foot coverage area
  • Two-way audio
  • 32-hour backup battery
  • Waterproof pendant
$29.95 per month $329.45 per year None Landline
MGHome Cellular
  • 1,400-foot coverage area
  • 32-hour backup battery
  • Rapid connection speed using LTE and Wi-Fi
  • Two-way audio
  • Water-resistant pendant
  • Access to MyGuardian customer care portal and app
$37.95 per month $417.45 per year $149.95 Cellular
MGMini
  • GPS, Wi-Fi and LTE location technology
  • Runs on Verizon’s network
  • Small, discreet system
  • Two-way audio
  • Five-day battery life
  • Access to MyGuardian customer care portal and app
$39.95 per month $439.45 per year $149.95 Cellular
MGMini Lite
  • Simple watch design
  • GPS, Wi-Fi, and LTE location tracking
  • Runs on Verizon’s network
  • Water-resistant and shower-safe
  • Lightweight at 0.7 ounces
  • Access to MyGuardian customer-care portal and app
$44.95 per month $494.45 per year $149.95 Cellular
MGMove
  • Sophisticated smartwatch design
  • Shake to Wake feature
  • Step counter
  • Weather app
  • Access to My Guardian customer care portal and app
$39.95 per month $439.45 per year $199.95 Cellular

Medical Guardian System and Product Details

MGClassic

Cost

This is Medical Guardian’s least expensive system, starting at $29.95 per month. From my own experience with the system, it’s an excellent option for seniors on a tight budget or those living in areas with poor AT&T or Verizon coverage.

Medical Guardian's MGClassic

MGClassic

Equipment

The MGClassic comes with a base station that connects to your landline, along with a necklace or bracelet pendant (your choice!). The wearable, waterproof alert button works up to 1,300 feet from the base station. That means you can use the system whether you’re taking a bubble bath, baking in the kitchen, or watching a movie in the family room. We tested the system throughout my grandma’s home and backyard, and we were able to connect to the monitoring center every time without issue. In the event of a power outage, the system’s 32-hour backup battery kicks in, so you’ll stay protected.

From the Experts:

From the Experts: Medical Guardian’s average response time is around 30 to 45 seconds. This falls within the average response time for the industry, which is 15 to 45 seconds.

Service and Monitoring

Built for in-home use, the MGClassic is the only model that uses a landline connection, which plugs into a phone jack. You won’t have to worry about your system not working during an emergency because of a bad connection. You can also add fall detection to the system for an extra $10 per month.

MGHome Cellular

Cost

MGHome Cellular costs $37.95 per month. Medical Guardian’s prices are slightly higher than the rates for similar systems on the market. For instance, Bay Alarm Medical’s monthly prices for an in-home cellular system start at $29.95. However, Bay Alarm Medical’s system is not as sleek as the MGHome Cellular, so if you’re looking for a system that will blend in, the extra cost might be worth it. You will also be charged a $149.95 equipment fee for the MGHome Cellular, a rarity with at-home systems.

My grandma testing out Medical Guardian's MGHome Cellular system

My grandma testing out Medical Guardian’s MGHome Cellular system

Equipment

If you are wondering why Medical Guardian charges an equipment fee for this at-home system, consider a few of its unique and advanced features. For example, the MGHome Cellular uses both 4G LTE and Wi-Fi to connect with the monitoring center at the fastest rate possible. When my grandma and I tested the system, we were connected to an operator in 15 seconds on average, and the signal was strong throughout my grandma’s home. In addition, the range between the wearable help button and the base unit is 1,400 feet, one of the longest we’ve seen so far. The system also features a Smarti Voice Assist button, which activates self-testing and provides audible system status reports. Finally, it’s equipped with a 32-hour backup battery in case of a power failure.

When I unplugged the system from wall power, it audibly announced that it was now running on the backup battery. I appreciated the backup battery, which is standard with most in-home systems. If the power goes out, it will be hard to navigate around a dark house, so it’s important that the system is still up and running in case of a fall. I was also able to check the system’s battery level in the MyGuardian app (more on that below).

Service and Monitoring

The connection type is where MGClassic and MGHome Cellular differ. MGHome Cellular uses AT&T’s 4G cellular network, so it’s a great option if you get strong AT&T coverage in your area. If you don’t have reliable coverage, I’d recommend going with the MGClassic.

Like many of Medical Guardian’s systems, MGHome Cellular is compatible with MyGuardian, Medical Guardian’s caregiver portal. You can access the care portal from a desktop or the mobile app. I downloaded the mobile app on my iPhone, and I was impressed with the app’s features. I could view the system’s battery status, connectivity quality, and history of system alerts. The app also tracks your system’s exact location, so I could see that it was at my grandma’s house — right where it was supposed to be!

Checking MGHome Cellular’s location in Medical Guardian’s MyGuardian mobile app

One app feature I really like is that you can set reminders and alerts. Whether you want to send reminders about appointments, medications, or calendar events, it’s useful for staying on top of your schedule. I set a reminder for my grandma to take her daily medications. I chose a start and end date, what time the alert should go off, and details about the reminder. When it was time for my grandma to take her meds, the system audibly reminded her. The feature is excellent for people with memory loss or users who just want a little extra help keeping track of their calendar.

Setting reminders in Medical Guardian's MyGuardian mobile app

Setting reminders in Medical Guardian’s MyGuardian mobile app

MGMini

Cost

The monthly price for this lightweight system is $39.95, and, like the MGHome Cellular, there is also an upfront equipment fee of $149.95. Mobile systems from other companies typically cost $35 to $40 per month, so this price is slightly higher than the industry average.

Medical Guardian's Mini Guardian

Mini Guardian

Equipment

We’ve been waiting for the day that a medical alert device would come in some more fashionable options, and the MGMini fits that bill! It comes in black, white, rose gold, or a nice silver option. This on-the-go system can be worn around the neck or clipped to your belt. With a lightweight, sleek design, this model is ideal for minimalists or those who want to keep their system simple and discreet. The battery lasts for five days and charges in three hours — excellent for weekend getaways. The fact that it’s Medical Guardian’s top-selling device says a lot about this tiny system’s value and fashionable look!

Service and Monitoring

Using mobile technology, the MGMini provides protection wherever you are: in your home, on a stroll around the neighborhood, or on vacation. Thanks to advanced location monitoring via GPS, Wi-Fi, and LTE, emergency operators know exactly where to send assistance if you press your help button. You can also add fall detection for $10 a month. If you or a loved one has a history of falling, I’d highly recommend this feature.

MGMove

Cost

MGMove, the company’s watch-style system, has a one-time $199.95 equipment fee. Then, you’ll pay a monitoring fee of $39.95 per month. One of my favorite MGMove features is the ability to send and receive messages to designated contacts, which you can add along with calendar alerts and reminders for $5 per month.

Testing out the MGMove watch

Testing out the MGMove watch.

Equipment

MGMove is the perfect choice for older adults looking to live a fit and healthy lifestyle, whether you’re a runner, cyclist, or brisk walker. This medical alert system, which originally debuted in early 2022, hardly looks like one; it’s more of a smartwatch with medical alert capabilities. With its sleek look, no one will know it’s a medical alert system.

Plus, the watch’s battery lasts up to 24 hours, which is excellent for on-the-go users. The watch makes an audio announcement each time it’s removed from the charger, so that you always know the battery status. In addition, the watch goes into battery saving mode after 60 seconds of no movement to help conserve power.

Low-battery alerts on Medical Guardian's MGMove

Low-battery alerts on Medical Guardian’s MGMove

I was surprised to see that the MGMove is very similar in style to Bay Alarm Medical’s SOS Smartwatch. The interface is almost identical. For comparison, the SOS Smartwatch is a few bucks cheaper, and it can be upgraded to include automatic fall detection, unlike the MGMove.

My grandma wore the MGMove while walking her dog, and she really enjoyed the look and feel of the system. Some of my grandma’s favorite MGMove features are the step tracking, weather forecasts, and touch-screen face with large, easy-to-read icons. You can even voice-text family members and caregivers through the watch. So whether you want to check the weather before taking a walk or set reminders to take your medications or for doctor appointments, you’ll be set. I appreciate these extra features that make it easy to stay connected.

It’s important to note that automatic fall detection is not available with the MGMove watch. If this feature is important to you, you’ll want to consider one of Medical Guardian’s other on-the-go systems.

Service and Monitoring

MGMove runs on the AT&T 4G network, providing solid coverage to older adults who are on the go. Though the watch has no fall detection option, it does come with GPS location detection so that seniors feel fully protected while out.

MGMini Lite

Cost

The MGMini Lite, a simple watch system, starts at $44.95 per month with a one-time $149.95 equipment fee. We recommend the annual payment plan if it works for your budget, since you’ll save around $40 per year compared to paying monthly.

Trying out Medical Guardian's MGMini Lite

Trying out Medical Guardian’s MGMini Lite

Equipment

The system consists of a sleek watch that acts as a wearable help button. It’s a simplified version of the MGMove smartwatch. It doesn’t have an actual watch face or touchscreen, so it’s best for people who don’t want extra bells and whistles. Since it includes a cellular connection, the MGMini Lite is the perfect medical alert system for both home and mobile use. It also includes useful features such as step tracking and reminders. The system is very — you guessed it — light, weighing in at a meager 0.7 ounces. It’s Medical Guardian’s lightest system yet! I definitely noticed that when wearing the system. It’s less bulky than a smartwatch and light enough that you’ll probably forget you’re wearing it.

One interesting element of the design I noticed while testing was that, unlike a typical watch, MGMini Lite doesn’t have a small loop to run the excess strap of the watch through after you buckle it. Instead, there’s a slit in the band that you can thread the strap through, so it sits under the outside of the band. I liked that because sometimes my watch strap comes out of the loop, and it annoyingly gets in the way. The MGMini Lite keeps the strap more secure and discreet. If you’re looking for a small, simple option to wear on the go, the MGMini Lite is my recommendation.

Medical Guardian's MGMini LIte has a unique band design

Medical Guardian’s MGMini LIte has a unique band design

Service and Monitoring

The MGMini Lite runs on Verizon’s 4G network, so you can wear it anywhere and still be protected. It also features real-time GPS location tracking, along with Wi-Fi tracking as a backup. For $10 a month, you can add fall detection.

While testing the system at my house, I experienced much slower response times than I have with Medical Guardian’s other systems. That really surprised me. I had to wait for over a minute to connect with a live operator, which is much slower than the average of 15 seconds I experienced with the rest of the company’s lineup. I live in an area where Verizon service isn’t great, so that may have been a contributing factor. It’s an important drawback to note though.

Want to learn more about Medical Guardian’s mobile systems? Watch the video below with our editor-in-chief, Jeff Hoyt.

Add-on Features and Accessories

Automatic Fall Detection

Fall detection will automatically alert Medical Guardian’s monitoring center when it senses a fall, even if you can’t press your help button. Fall detection costs an extra $10 a month. In the U.S., around 36 million older adults fall every single year,1 so it’s worth the price if you ask me! You can add a fall-alert pendant to either of the at-home systems or MGMini Lite. With the MGMini, fall detection is programmed directly into the mobile device. Fall detection isn’t available with the MGMove.

Wireless Wall Button

You can add a wireless wall button, which costs $2.99 per month, to your system for another level of protection. When pressed, these buttons wirelessly connect to the monitoring center. They’re easy to set up and move — just stick them to the wall. I like that they don’t require any complicated wiring or installation. They’re ideal for bathrooms or other high-risk areas of the home!

Voice-Activated Wall-Mounted Button

This button, priced at $4.99 per month, works like the basic wall-mounted button, but it is also voice-activated and features a pull cord. The user just has to say “call Medical Guardian” twice or pull the cord to connect to the monitoring center wirelessly. I’d recommend this button over the basic model, because the voice-activated feature is handy when you can’t reach the button.

Lockbox

The lockbox costs $2.99 per month and allows you to store a spare house key outside your house. That way, emergency medical technicians won’t have to break down your door to get inside. You can also receive a free lockbox with an annual order.

OnGuard Alerts

With the addition of Medical Guardian’s enhanced emergency notifications for $2.99 per month, caregivers in the Care Circle will receive real-time text and email notifications about their loved ones’ emergencies.

MG Protection Plan

For $6.99 per month, your equipment will be protected from damage from normal wear and tear, accidents, dust, heat, humidity, and power surges. It will also include unlimited battery replacements.

Elite 911

This one-button box is smaller than a cell phone and allows users to speak directly to a 911 operator. It works on any available cell network, and you will never need to worry about charging it. Elite 911 costs $9.99 per month.

Support Circle Apps

For $5 per month, you will have access to an app that enables texting or talking with your loved ones and a second app that allows you to set up reminders on your MGMove.

MGMove watch with the Support Circle Messaging app

Options when you send a new message.

The Bottom Line on Medical Guardian

My grandma and I were pleased with Medical Guardian’s alert systems. They really stay ahead of the curve when it comes to technology, which you can see from their advanced features, versatile options, and mobile app. I was impressed with MGMove’s capabilities, like text messaging, calendar alerts, location detection, and a touch screen. I also loved the MyGuardian portal and app, available with all of Medical Guardian’s products, which allows caregivers to help stay on top of things.

Medical Guardian strives to keep users safe without them compromising their lifestyles or giving up their passions. My grandma loved that these alert systems didn’t interrupt her daily routine but still offered peace of mind for both of us. We can honestly say that you’ll be in good hands with Medical Guardian!

Our Methodology

As we test medical alert systems, we evaluate several key factors that users should consider when choosing a system. These criteria include reliability, ease of use, customer service, value for money, response times, and available features. We test every system by hand to give our readers an accurate and in-depth look at the product. We also receive feedback from older adults (like my grandma!) about the systems whenever possible. Visit our medical alert system methodology guide for a closer look at our testing process.

Frequently Asked Questions About Medical Guardian

  • How much does Medical Guardian cost per month?

    Medical Guardian systems start at $29.95 per month and range up to $44.95 per month. Don’t forget to factor in an additional $10 per month if you want automatic fall detection.

  • Is Medical Guardian covered by Medicare?

    Medical Guardian is not covered by Original Medicare, which doesn’t cover any medical alert systems. Some private insurance and Medicare Advantage plans may cover alert systems or offer reimbursement.

  • Is Medical Guardian waterproof?

    The base stations are not water-resistant. However, some of Medical Guardian’s wearable alert buttons are water-resistant, meaning they can withstand rain or a shower. Others are waterproof, so you can wear them in the shower or submerge them in the bathtub. The MGMove is water-resistant.

  • Where is Medical Guardian located?

    Medical Guardian’s headquarters are located in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. The company’s alert systems are available in all 50 states, along with Puerto Rico and Canada. Equipment options outside the U.S. may be more limited.

  • How do I cancel Medical Guardian?

    If you are unhappy with your Medical Guardian system for any reason, you can cancel your service at any time, as there are no long-term contracts. Once you give the Medical Guardian Returns & Cancellations department a call and return your equipment, your cancellation will be processed within 30 days. You will also receive a prorated refund for any unused service.

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:
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