2022 Medical Alert Systems Survey By AgingInPlace.org

Updated: Sep 10, 2022

Medical alert systems have come a long way since the famous slogan, “Help, I’ve fallen and I can’t get up!” first debuted in a LifeCall commercial over 30 years ago. There are now more than 20 medical alert system brands offering everything from at-home landline systems to smartwatches with step tracking and messaging features.

The most important feature of any medical alert system is peace of mind—knowing you or your loved one is connected to a 24/7 monitoring center in case of a fall, medical emergency, or other emergencies. Medical alert systems can empower older adults to age independently in their own homes, while also giving their loved ones assurance that they’re protected at all times.

54.3% felt more confident performing daily activities because of their medical alert device

AgingInPlace.org connects older adults and their loved ones with the right tools to help make remaining in their homes and communities a reality. Our team has spent over 1,000 hours researching, testing, and reviewing popular medical alert systems on behalf of our readers. We recently surveyed medical alert system users and caregivers to better understand their top choices, preferred features, and overall attitude toward medical alert systems.

Survey Insights 

Many are thinking ahead when purchasing a medical alert system. Being proactive was the main reason medical alert system users sought out a product, with 28.5% of people purchasing a medical alert system out of precaution. The second most popular reasons are either due to a significant fall or a medical event occurring. Each was chosen by 27.5% of people.

28.5% purchased a medical alert system as a precautionary

Fall detection is a must-have feature. Fall detection is the No. 1 feature our survey respondents look for in making a decision to purchase a medical alert system, followed by customer service/response time. 

People want a more affordable medical alert system with better battery life. Price is the top medical alert feature (25.1%) users or their loved ones would like to see improved, with the second most important feature being (23.5%) improved battery life.

38% receive financial assistance in purchasing medical alert device

● Medical alert systems bring peace of mind. 90.8% of people feel more confident performing daily activities knowing their medical alert device will provide them with immediate assistance.

AIP Medical alert system survey data

“The survey results mirror what we see in clinical practice: the overwhelming majority of users are satisfied with the purchase of a medical alert system. Most users of home alert systems feel more confident performing what we call the ‘activities of daily living,’ which include bathing, toileting, and cooking—abilities that younger or abled individuals often take for granted. These daily functions are crucial to older adults’ confidence, independence, and quality of life. Unfortunately, the data also suggest that about half of users wait until a significant fall or medical event occurs before investing in an alert system.” 

63.7 % needed to use their medical alert device according to our medical alert survey

AgingInPlace.org surveyed 1,000 people who are either using a medical alert system or are caring for a loved one who uses a medical alert system. We referenced feedback from a medical reviewer to help determine our survey questions. Survey participants ranged from ages 25 and older, with the highest percentage of individuals falling between the ages of 35–44 years old. Our respondents were located in almost all 50 states and represented gender and racial diversity.