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QMedic Medical Alert System Review 2021

Reliable systems with advanced activity and compliance monitoring

30 sec. Average Response Time
$30/mo. Starting At Price
Overall Rating:
4.0 of 5
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With 85 percent of seniors suffering from at least one chronic health condition, it's normal for families to feel anxious about their loved one's safety. Thankfully, companies like QMedic offer at-home and on-the-go medical alert systems that can offer peace of mind for you and your caregivers and family members. Founded in 2010 by two MIT scientists with a background in health tech, QMedic has been providing high-tech, reliable monitoring to older adults for a decade.

What sets QMedic apart is the straightforward equipment choices, free spousal monitoring, and 24/7 activity and compliance tracking. I wanted to check out these features for myself, so I tested out QMedic's Cellular Medical Alert System and the Mobile GPS Medical Alert System. From setting up your system to pricing, read on to learn more about my experience with QMedic.

What We Like About QMedic

  • Advanced activity detection: QMedic tracks your activity and sleeping patterns 24/7, so it's easy for family members to keep a close eye on you. Plus, QMedic can even tell when you're at home and whether or not you're wearing your system.
  • No equipment fees: QMedic leases their systems instead of offering them for purchase, so you never have to pay an equipment fee.
  • Straightforward systems: QMedic keeps things as clear and straightforward as possible with just two systems to choose from.
  • No extra fees: With QMedic, there are no extra activation, shipping, equipment, monitoring, or installation fees.
  • 30-day, money-back guarantee: Try your system out risk-free with QMedic's 30-day trial.
  • Free spousal/roommate monitoring: Add a second help button to the at-home system at no extra charge. However, having two users for a single system throws off the activity detection, so if that's important to you, you'd be better off with two systems.

Things to Keep in Mind About QMedic

  • Small product lineup: If you're all about having as many options as possible, keep in mind that QMedic only offers two systems.
  • Limited add-on equipment: The only add-on equipment QMedic currently offers is additional help buttons for the at-home system.
  • No fall detection: QMedic doesn't offer automatic fall detection like most other medical alert companies do. The company says this is because fall detection leads to false alarms, so if you're set on automatic fall detection, you may want to check out our list of the best medical alert systems with fall detection.
  • No monthly payment plan: As of January 1, 2021, new users who pay privately (without insurance) for QMedic must purchase an annual subscription. Monthly subscriptions aren't an option.
  • No refunds after 30 days: QMedic's annual subscription locks users into a one-year contract. You can cancel at any time, but you won't receive a refund if you cancel after 30 days.

Overview of QMedic

Now that you've seen a snapshot of QMedic, let's dive into my experience with the company!

The Buying Experience

When I started researching QMedic, I hopped on their website and found it easy to navigate. An “ORDER QMEDIC” button at the top of every page takes you right to their product information pages and guides you through the ordering process. If you have any questions, the site has a chat window that lets you submit a message and your email address.

I sent a message asking if QMedic offers spouse monitoring, since nearly 60 percent of all older adults aging in place live with a partner.2 A representative named Rebecca responded within a few hours. She told me that you could add an extra help button to the in-home system at no additional charge. Many companies we’ve reviewed, like Lifeline, charge an extra fee for spouse monitoring or require couples to purchase two separate systems, so I was very pleased with QMedic's free option. However, Rebecca let me know that I would need to buy two separate systems if I wanted the most accurate activity tracking possible.

Buyer's Tip: When you buy online, you can leave special instructions with your order. This is where you can request a second help button for your partner.

Later, I hopped on a call with QMedic to find out if the company offers add-on equipment for any of their packages. Jill, the representative I spoke with, let me know that QMedic doesn't currently offer any extra equipment or features, because the company wants to keep things simple for older adults. I couldn't disagree with that!
After getting all of my questions answered, I settled on purchasing both the Cellular Medical Alert System and the Mobile GPS system to get a feel for QMedic's in-home and on-the-go options.

Setting up My System

When my package arrived (thank you, free shipping!), it came with the cellular base unit, a wearable help wristband, the mobile GPS unit on a necklace, and a charging cradle.

Mobile GPS System Setup

I started by placing the mobile GPS unit on its charger to get it fully powered up. A light on the unit lit up to show me it was charging. A full charge took a few hours, which isn't long at all, considering the battery lasts for 14 days.

Then, all I had to do was put the unit around my neck (with the strap provided) and press the black help button with an outline of a phone on it. After that, I was connected to the monitoring center and let the operator know I was running a test. He told me that everything was working properly, and that was it!

Cellular Medical Alert System Setup

While my Mobile GPS unit charged, I set up the at-home system by plugging the base unit into a power outlet. I made sure to choose an outlet that was centrally located in my home to get the most out of the system's 500- to 1,000-foot range. The help button on the top of the base unit turned green, indicating it was on. I then put on my pendant and made a test call with it by pressing the purple button.

Setup Tip: Install the base station in a central location where you spend most of your time. Why? Because then it (and its two-way speaker) is close by should you experience an emergency and need to communicate with an operator.

After a few seconds, the base station started beeping, and I was connected to the 24/7 monitoring station in about 30 seconds. A live operator asked if I needed help, and I used the two-way speaker to let them know I was running a test.

Contracts and Warranty

Rebecca informed me that since all of QMedic's equipment is leased, there isn't an official product warranty. However, if equipment breaks or malfunctions for any reason other than deliberate damage, QMedic replaces it for free. Subscribers can even request a free replacement if they lose their in-home wearable button.

QMedic also offers a 30-day, money-back guarantee. So if you're unhappy with the system for any reason, you can return it without penalty within 30 days. QMedic will even pay for the shipping.

However, if you want to cancel your service after 30 days, you will not receive a refund, because QMedic locks you into a one-year contract. Other companies we’ve reviewed, including Alert1, offer prorated refunds for customers who cancel mid-plan.

QMedic Systems at a Glance

QMedic product Price Coverage range Features Battery life Built for
Cellular Medical Alert System $300 per year 500-1,000 feet
  • Waterproof wristband or pendant
  • No landline or cell phone required
  • Cellular AT&T connection
  • Two-way talk base station
  • Compliance monitoring
Help button: 2 years

Hub: 24-hour backup battery

In-home use
Mobile GPS Medical Alert System $400 per year Unlimited
  • GPS location tracking
  • Cellular Verizon or AT&T connection
  • Water-resistant in rain
  • Worn as a pendant
  • Built-in two-way speaker
14-day battery life On-the-go use

FYI: As of Jan 1, 2021, new private pay customers can only purchase annual subscriptions. Only existing users or individuals referred by a managed care organization or AAA partner can choose a monthly subscription.

QMedic System and Product Details

QMedic Cellular Medical Alert System

Qmedic Home Medical Alert

Qmedic Medical Alert

Cost

QMedic's Cellular Medical Alert System costs $300 with an annual subscription. That breaks down to $25 per month, so QMedic's prices are affordable compared to the competition. With QMedic, you aren't purchasing the equipment. Instead, it's considered a lease for the duration of your subscription. You won't face any other fees, except replacement costs if you need to replace the base unit, necklace, wristband, etc. Even shipping is free!

Equipment

This system comes with two components: the wearable help button and the base station. You can choose whether you'd like to wear the button as a necklace or a wristband at the time of purchase. Either way, the button is waterproof. It also features a two-year battery life, so you won't need to remember to recharge it!

From the Experts: QMedic's alert systems have an average response time of 30 seconds, which falls right in the middle of the industry average (15 to 45 seconds).

The base station has a two-way speaker to communicate directly with QMedic's monitoring center. Its coverage ranges from 500 to 1,000 feet, depending on your home's setup. QMedic suggests that it can cover most one- to two-bedroom homes and yards. If that sounds like the size of your home and you're a homebody, I'd recommend this QMedic system for you. I tested the system throughout my home and was able to connect to the monitoring center, no problem.

Service and Monitoring

Just as you'd find with other medical alert companies we’ve reviewed, such as Bay Alarm Medical, QMedic's at-home system comes backed by a 24/7 UL-listed monitoring center. When you press your help button, the operator will either dispatch emergency services or call your primary contact. The system uses AT&T's network to communicate, so you don't need a landline.

Another thing worth noting is that QMedic doesn't offer fall detection. The company feels that fall-detection devices lead to many false alarms. According to QMedic, these can cause panic and discourage consistent use. Instead, QMedic focuses on activity tracking to support a user's well-being.

Did You Know: QMedic communicates with customers who speak many different languages through a real-time phone translation service. QMedic also has bilingual employees on staff who speak English, Spanish, Mandarin, Cantonese, and Arabic.

Caregivers can log in to an online dashboard or through the QMedic app to view 24/7 data on their loved one's sleep and their compliance with wearing the system. The app breaks down the wearer's day by their location and time spent being sedentary, not wearing their system, sleeping, and performing light or vigorous activity. This information is displayed in charts that compare each day's activity to the user's average activity. You can also add information about the wearer's nutrition and medical conditions for the most well-rounded profile possible. QMedic offers the most comprehensive activity tracking I've seen, so I was impressed with the caregiver dashboard.

QMedic Mobile GPS Medical Alert System

QMedic On-the-Go System

QMedic On-the-Go System

Cost

QMedic's on-the-go system costs $400 for an annual subscription, making it $100 more expensive than the at-home system. You won't face any additional fees or costs unless you need to replace any equipment. Plus, shipping is free.

Current Deal: QMedic is currently offering $100 off the Mobile GPS annual subscription. Talk about savings!

Equipment

The Mobile GPS system includes a mobile unit and a charging cradle. Worn as a necklace, the mobile unit can be taken anywhere, making it an excellent choice for active seniors who spend time outside the home. Don't take it in the shower, though; it's only rated as water-resistant for wear in the rain. Its rechargeable battery lasts 14 days on a single charge. In our MobileHelp review and LifeStation review, we found that comparable Mobile GPS units last anywhere from one to five days, so QMedic's battery life is solid.

Did You Know: QMedic made our list as a best medical alert system for their activity monitoring and simple, reliable systems.

Service and Monitoring

By default, the mobile GPS unit runs on Verizon's network. If you'd prefer AT&T, you'll need to request it. Choose the network that has the best coverage in the places where you spend most of your time. As long as you're in a service area with your charged mobile unit, you're covered. The system's built-in GPS technology lets the monitoring center identify your exact location, so help will be sent straight to you during an emergency, even if you don't know where you are.

The Bottom Line on QMedic

Overall, I was impressed with QMedic's advanced activity and compliance monitoring. The detailed tracking, charts, and real-time alerts displayed in QMedic's mobile app gave a comprehensive look at the user's activity. In my years of testing, I've never seen a company offer such thorough activity monitoring. I also appreciate that QMedic doesn't add extra features that could confuse some older adults, as their founders believe that simple, high-quality protection is best for keeping users safe. There are no extra fees for things like activation, shipping, or installation, so you won't face any surprises when it's time to pay. While I was initially disappointed that QMedic doesn't offer automatic fall detection, I found that QMedic's reliable systems and detailed activity monitoring still provide the peace of mind that older adults and their caregivers want.

Watch our QMedic video review with editor-in-chief Jeff Hoyt below to learn more about the company.

Frequently Asked Questions About QMedic

Citations
  1. National Institute on Aging. (2021). Supporting Older Patients with Chronic Conditions.

  2. Administration for Community Living. (2018). 2017 Profile of Older Americans.