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Medical Alerts and Pacemakers

A Guide to Using Medical Alert Systems With Pacemakers in 2024

Jeff Hoyt Jeff Hoyt Editor in Chief

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Medical technology has seen amazing advancements, especially in the last few decades. In particular, pacemakers have become more advanced. And while they aren’t perfect, they can help seniors during life-threatening moments. These devices are rarely known to experience malfunctions, but they can happen. Some of the more common causes of pacemaker malfunctions are battery depletion, electromagnetic interference, and damaged or loose wiring. The results of a pacemaker failure can be fatal.

According to research, about three million people have pacemakers.1 Every one of these patients must have a contingency plan in place in case the pacemaker fails. One way to counteract the effects of a broken pacemaker is to invest in a medical alert system. For now, let’s investigate medical alert systems and pacemakers further.

Bay Alarm Medical and Medical Guardian's in-home systems

Bay Alarm Medical and Medical Guardian’s in-home systems

Choosing the Best Medical Alert System With Your Pacemaker

Are you unsure which medical alert system will work best with your pacemaker? While most medical alert devices do not interfere with pacemakers, it’s always best to choose a high-quality system to prevent issues in the future. If you’re currently in the market for a medical alert system, be sure to check out some of the best providers that we have reviewed.

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Do Medical Alert Systems Interfere with Pacemakers?

No, medical alert systems should not interfere with pacemakers. In fact, they’re designed not to. Things with magnetic components, such as metal detectors and cell phones, interfere with pacemakers, but medical alert systems generally do not have magnetic components. To be sure, call your doctor or the pacemaker manufacturer. Make sure to ask about the specific brand and medical alert system you choose, as systems from each manufacturer are designed differently. Also, ask if the pacemaker is susceptible to electromagnetic RF emissions from your medical alert device.

Reasons to Use a Medical Alert System with a Pacemaker

For those with a pacemaker, the thought of enduring heart failure is extremely scary. Since you have a pacemaker, there’s a good chance you’ve already experienced heart failure at least once. The experience usually starts with dizziness, followed by difficulty breathing and intense chest pain. Once your heart starts racing, you only have anywhere from a few seconds to a minute or two to reach for help. It’s during a heart failure that every second literally counts.

With a medical alert system, you can reach out for medical intervention with the push of a button. You don’t have to explain what’s happening to the operator, which is very important as you will likely have little breath to explain what’s going on. The operator will have instant access to your medical history and can send help immediately.

Ultimately, a medical alert system used with a pacemaker serves as an extra safety net for some of life’s most vulnerable moments. You can finally live life with more confidence when wearing a pacemaker combined with a medical alert system.

ADT Health's Medical Alert Plus system

ADT Health’s Medical Alert Plus system

Do Medical Alert Systems Sync with Pacemakers?

Short answer: No, medical alert systems do not sync with pacemakers. It would be pretty neat if they did, but as for now, they do not. These two systems work separately but can support one another during a health event. Take this example: your pacemaker vibrates indicating you’re experiencing an irregular heart rate. When it vibrates, you can then press the HELP or CALL button on your medical alert system device to call for help.

Which Medical Alert Systems Work Best with Pacemakers?

As mentioned before, it’s critical to speak with the manufacturer of your pacemaker to determine whether a medical alert system will cause interference with it. There are several types of medical alert systems to choose from, including ones that provide live monitoring services. Ideally, someone with a pacemaker will benefit greatly from live monitoring service as it ensures you can connect immediately and directly to an operator in the event of a heart failure or health scare. With no live monitoring service, you can call for help, but your call connects to a family member or friend. If they don’t answer, then your call is routed to 911.

Many people with pacemakers opt for the three best medical alert system brands, including popular options like Bay Alarm Medical and Medical Guardian. These brands provide different systems with various service packages and features. Some systems even offer apps that allow your family to monitor your well-being. That way, they’ll be notified if you’re inactive for an unusual amount of time or if something is wrong.

Our Editor Jeff Hoyt with the LifeFone Voice in Necklace system

Our Editor Jeff Hoyt with the LifeFone Voice in Necklace system

Final Thoughts

Medical alert systems provide peace of mind for those with heart-related problems. Essentially, they allow you to remain active with more confidence by knowing medical intervention is easily accessible if you need it. If you have a pacemaker, you should consider the advantages of adding a medical alert system to your life.

Citations
Written By:
Jeff Hoyt
Editor in Chief
Read About Our Panel of Experts
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