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Medical Guardian is one of our top picks for best medical alert systems.
Purchasing a Medical Guardian system is simple and straightforward.
Medical Guardian offers 5 packages: two at-home and three on-the-go systems.
The monthly subscription cost is $29.95–$39.95, depending on the system.
Its customer service team and monitoring center are top-notch in providing friendly and reliable responses.
Medical Guardian is one of our top picks for best medical alert systems for its variety of at-home and on-the-go devices for older adults, its impressive protective range from the at-home base station (up to 1,300-1,400 feet), and its long battery life. The company also differentiates itself from competing medical alert companies due to its overall high customer reviews for a responsive, polite, and knowledgeable customer service team. Compared to other companies, Medical Guardian’s website more clearly and thoroughly describes products for an easier shopping experience. Medical Guardian also is one of the few medical alert companies we reviewed that offers a smartwatch medical alert system.
Its monitoring center is The Monitoring Association (TMA) Five Diamond Certified. A TMA Five Diamond Certified monitoring center has met the highest standards for monitoring centers in the industry and has fast response times—the most important aspect of a medical alert system, according to respondents in our AgingInPlace.org survey.
We reviewed Medical Guardian to give you an overview of the company and its products, keeping in mind features, affordability, and how it compares to other popular medical alert brands.
About Medical Guardian
Medical Guardian has been a provider of medical alert systems since 2005, when it was founded by its CEO Geoff Gross. Gross was inspired to start the company when his grandmother needed a medical alert system, so he sold his first 2,000 medical alert devices himself out of his apartment. Medical Guardian is headquartered in Philadelphia and claims to now have more than 300,000 active subscribers to its medical alert systems.
Our team awarded Medical Guardian a 9.57/10 overall rating based on essential and special features, functionality, customer service and the purchasing process. We also rated it the best medical alert system for an active lifestylebecause of its lightweight mobile devices and wide protection range for at-home systems. It was the second-highest scoring medical alert system on our list of the 11 brands we tested, following front-runner Bay Alarm Medical.
No charge for cancellation and pro-rated refund
TMA Five Diamond Certified monitoring center
Five packages available: two at-home and three on-the-go, including the MGMove Smartwatch
Product quiz to help find the best device
Device protection plan costs extra
Locks you into month-to-month contracts after a three-month minimum commitment
*The Classic Guardian system is only available to lease and has a $0 equipment fee.
All Medical Guardian packages allow for two-way communication between you and the monitoring center, via a speaker in the base station for at-home models and a speaker in the mobile device for on-the-go models.
All Medical Guardian systems have a one-time shipping fee of $12.50 along with the one-time Equipment charge.
Classic Guardian may be the best if you live in an area with poor Wi-Fi or cell service and you plan to remain close to home because it connects you to its monitoring center through a landline. It’s the only system where the included manufacturer’s warranty lasts as long as monthly monitoring is active.
Medical Guardian’s most affordable system
Protection range: 1,300 feet
Only package with no equipment fees
Only system that’s leased
32 hour backup battery in case of power outage
Cost: Monthly and quarterly subscription plans cost $29.95 per month and annual subscription plans cost $27.45 per month.
Landline base unit
2 wearable help buttons in the form of a wristband and neck pendant
Home 2.0 is the brand’s at-home system that connects to Wi-Fi or cell service, giving you a wider range to travel within your home compared to Classic Guardian’s more limited landline capabilities. Protection range is 1,400 feet.
Protection range: 1,400 feet
32 hour backup battery in case of power outage
Cost: Monthly and quarterly subscriptions cost $34.95 per month and annual subscriptions cost $32.04 per month.
Cellular base unit
Wristband and necklace with an interchangeable help button
Mobile 2.0is Medical Guardian’s most affordable on-the-go system. It’s essentially a compact, all-in-one base station and help button you can clip to your clothes or wear around your neck. It comes in two color choices: black or white. Weighing only 1.7 ounces, it’s lighter than two AA batteries and isn’t bulky or awkward.
Wi-Fi and cellular connectivity
5-day battery life
Cost: Monthly and quarterly subscriptions cost $39.95 per month and annual subscriptions cost $36.62 per month.
Interchangeable help button with a necklace and wristband
Mini Guardian is Medical Guardian’s number one-rated product. It’s a mobile device, similar to the recently discontinued Active Guardian model but even more compact, with a built-in speaker and help button. It can be clipped to clothing or worn on a lanyard as a necklace. The Mini Guardian comes in three colors—silver, white, and black. At 1.3 ounces, it’s even lighter than the Mobile 2.0.
5-day battery life
Cost: Monthly and quarterly subscriptions cost $39.95 per month and annual subscriptions cost $36.62 per month.
MGMove Smartwatchis Medical Guardian’s top-of-the-line mobile device and was introduced after the Freedom Guardian 2.0 smartwatch was discontinued. Medical Guardian’s watch comes with a touchscreen that the previous version didn’t have. The help button appears as both a touchscreen app and red SOS button on the side of the device. The watch itself is black with a plastic wristband and comes in two sizes (regular and extra-large).
24 hour battery life
Included services: step counting and weather alerts
Cost: Monthly and quarterly subscriptions cost $39.95 per month and annual subscriptions cost $36.62 per month.
Magnetic charging station
Charging cord and a charging brick
“The Medical Guardian brand offers a comprehensive range of medical alert products and services. Their products are reliable and easy to use, and their customer service is excellent,” said Harikiran Chekuri, MBBS, medical head of ClinicSpots, which promotes holistic health care.
MG Buying Experience
How Do I Buy a Medical Guardian System?
Purchasing a Medical Guardian system is simple and straightforward. Our team found this out when we were easily able to purchase our subscription to the Mini Guardian. The overall purchasing process is similar between all Medical Guardian products. When ordering online, you simply select the medical alert system, the subscription length (monthly, quarterly, or annually), and any add-ons you want, and then provide information on shipping and payment.
We like that Medical Guardian provides the dimensions, technical specs, and other details about each device online. You don’t need to call and speak with a sales representative or request a brochure just to find out basic information about products.
You can purchase by speaking over the phone with a sales representative or by selecting the product directly from the company website. Ordering over the phone may be a better option if you still have questions after reading product details listed on the website, although more product details can be found by scrolling down each product page entirely.
It’s also easy to mix and match add-on features during the checkout process. Unlike some medical alert systems, you don’t have to opt out of additional services or features that have already been added to your online shopping cart—Medical Guardian gives you the power to choose your preferred add-ons yourself.
Medical Guardian states that it provides a simple three-step process and “concierge-style customer care” when walking you through the setup of a new device. Customer representatives and monitoring center agents were helpful, friendly, and professional during our interactions with them in setting up the Mini Guardian device and fall detection. Our customer representative broke the process down with step-by-step instructions.
The quality of Medical Guardian’s partner response center is undisputed. The emergency monitoring center has earned the highest marks with the TMA Five Diamond Certification, and its staff undergoes intensive training. The U.S.-based team uses translation services to speak with users in most major languages using a third-party translation service. Customers report that even when summoned accidentally, the highly professional response teams are warm and helpful.
When we shopped for Medical Guardian products over the phone, the company’s sales representatives could be persistent. They’re knowledgeable in answering specific product questions, but they save your name and phone number for some days after your initial call and, if you didn’t buy their product, will call you frequently to follow up.
Medical Guardian can also be slow to respond to emails. The company does have a live chat option on its website, but representatives were sometimes unresponsive or the live chat would end unexpectedly in the middle of answering a question. In our experience, calling Medical Guardian directly is the way to go if you have unanswered questions and want a fast response.
Ease of Setup
Medical Guardian’s clean, minimalist packaging was the first thing we noticed when our Mini Guardian arrived. These first four steps for setup are clearly listed on the box:
Read the user guide.
Charge your Mini until the light is solid red.
Test your Mini by holding the call button.
Wear your Mini so it’s there if you need it!
Testing is simple: Press and hold the button until it turns blue, and you’ll be connected to a monitoring center agent. When we tested our device, the agent answered within only 10 seconds and asked if we had an emergency. We spoke with the agent through the Mini Guardian’s speakers and confirmed that we were testing the system.
We then called a Medical Guardian representative to ask how to activate fall detection. After giving us simple-to-follow, step-by-step instructions, he also told us that the best way to wear our device is around our neck, resting on the sternum and on top of our clothing.
He then instructed us to hold our device out at arm’s length and drop it onto a pillow to activate fall detection. We followed these instructions, and a monitoring center agent was alerted and answered right away. We confirmed with them that we were testing our Mini Guardian’s fall detection feature and not experiencing an actual emergency.
The user guide steps were quick and easy to follow—the entire process for setting up and testing our Mini Guardian took about 20 minutes.
Even though Medical Guardian can be gimmicky in its sales tactics and isn’t the fastest in responding to emails, once you’ve purchased the company’s product, its customer service team and monitoring center are top-notch in providing friendly and reliable responses. The purchasing process and device setup are also quite simple and streamlined.
Medical Guardian Features
Medical Guardian’s systems come with standard features you don’t have to pay extra for, but they differ by product. Standard features with Medical Guardian products include:
Base station: Both at-home models come with a base station that has a two-way speaker for communication between you and the monitoring center. Base stations are paired with a help button that will work only within a limited distance from the base station—known as a protection range—so you can’t use the help button to call for help if you’re away from home.
Smart Voice Assist: This technology comes with the Home and Mobile 2.0. It gives you spoken reports about your device status, such as whether the device is fully charged or if it’s connected to the cellular network. Medical Guardian recommends users self-test their systems at least once a month to ensure they’re connected to the cellular service and monitoring center.
MyGuardian Apps: Available with all systems and allows for increased communication between you, your caregivers, and your emergency contacts. If you have multiple caregivers, they can share updates with each other through the app. If you’re a family member who lives some distance away from your loved one, the MyGuardian app can help you be a more active caregiver. The app also offers medication and appointment reminders, a portal for paying your subscription, and status updates on your device, including battery and connectivity status. In an emergency, it calls and texts emergency contacts to let them know responders have been called, and it can also be used to communicate your care information to medical professionals for assisting with treatment decisions.
GPS tracking: Both the Mobile 2.0 and Mini Guardian come with GPS tracking that allows emergency responders to see your exact location so they can find you when you’re away from home and have requested help.
Belt clip and lanyard: A belt clip and lanyard come with the Mobile 2.0 and Mini Guardian. Belt clips can be used to fasten these devices to a belt, clothing, or a bag. The lanyard attaches to the Mini through a magnetic clip so you can wear it as a necklace.
Charging cradles: Mobile devices come with a charging dock. MGMove’s charging station has a battery light status and charging status Voice Assist that updates you on the device’s charge status.
Medical Guardian is on par with other medical alert companies as far as basic features go, although some brands, like MobileHelp and Aloe Care Health, offer higher-tech at-home models that may include touchscreen base stations, the ability to take phone calls from the base station, and air quality and temperature monitoring. Some add-on features available with other companies that Medical Guardian either doesn’t or no longer offers are decorative jewelry pendants, medical alert IDs that list your medical conditions, or apps for virtual visits with your doctor.
Contracts and Warranties
Medical Guardian has no long-term contracts but requires you to commit to an initial three-month subscription before you’re eligible for a month-to-month one. There are no cancellation fees and you get prorated refunds for any months you’ve paid in advance with quarterly and annual subscriptions. If you buy a Medical Guardian medical alert system and decide you don’t want it, customer service informed me that there is a 14-day return window from the time of purchase, where you’ll receive a full refund if your equipment is undamaged. Beyond this time period, you’ll be charged a $50 restocking fee for returning the device.
All products come with a basic manufacturer warranty that protects against defects in materials or workmanship. It’s good for up to one year from time of purchase if you’re buying your device and for however long your subscription lasts if you’re leasing your device.
For coverage of lost or stolen devices and damage from normal wear and tear and accidents, a protection plan can be purchased for $6.99 per month. Without the protection plan, Medical Guardian charges $350 for lost or damaged equipment, whether you’re leasing or buying.
Add-on Options: Prices and Details
Wireless Wall button: For extra protection at home, specifically in rooms where you may not have your wearable help button handy, wall-mounted alert buttons can be placed in high-risk or high-traffic areas. You simply press the button to connect with the emergency monitoring center. Add these buttons to your subscription for an extra $2.99 per month per wall button.
Voice-Activated Wall Button: You can easily connect to the monitoring center with your voice-activated wall button when you say, “Call Medical Guardian.” Voice-activated buttons can be installed up to 500 feet from your base unit. This provides great peace of mind in knowing you can get help even if you can’t reach the help button or if you’re not wearing your pendant. Voice-activated technology is available with the Classic Guardian and Home 2.0. It costs $4.99 per month per button.
Lockbox: A lockbox is essentially a padlock that safely stores your housekeys because it can only be opened with a code. In an emergency that renders you unable to open or unlock the door, the monitoring center, when they call 911, can share your lockbox code for EMTs to access your keys and enter your home. This prevents damage to entryways. Some other medical alert companies offer a one-time payment for a lockbox, so you’ll own it and save money in the long term. Medical Guardian charges a monthly lockbox fee instead. You’ll receive a free lockbox with any annual subscription. The Medical Guardian lockbox costs $2.99 per month.
Additional Help Buttons: Additional help buttons are the same type of help button that already comes with the device and can give other household members coverage with systems that offer them. All devices except the MGMove and Mini Guardian can add additional help buttons for $2.99 per month.
OnGuard Alerts: OnGuard alerts is a notification system that alerts your loved ones through text and email during an emergency to let them know that the monitoring center is sending responders. It’s different from the MyGuardian app because it gives caregivers more detailed updates throughout the emergency response, not just a notification that 911 has been called. It costs $2.99 per month.
Protection Plan: The Medical Guardian Protection Plan covers expenses if your device is lost, stolen, or damaged. You’ll also receive unlimited free battery replacements, tech support, repairs and discounts for additional equipment. The protection plan costs $6.99 per month and is an optional add-on at check-out. Your plan payments will be automatically added to your monthly billing statement.
Alert 911: This add-on feature is a one-button, mobile device that’s smaller than a cell phone and also connects to the monitoring center. It’s meant to be used as an additional GPS mobile device for other household members or for at-home users who purchase it as an add-on. It works on any available cellular network and, unlike a cell phone, doesn’t require a separate plan and doesn’t have to be charged. Alert 911 costs $9.99 per month and is available for all products.
Support Circle Apps: It includes messaging and reminders apps. The messaging app lets you stay in touch with loved ones via texting and voice recordings. With the reminders app, you’ll see daily tasks and appointment and medication reminders on your watch face. This set of apps is an add-on only with the MGMove and costs $5 per month.
Does Medical Guardian Offer Fall Detection?
Medical Guardian offers fall detection for an additional $10 per month added onto your subscription. In our AgingInPlace.org survey of medical alert users, nearly 80% said automatic fall detection was the most important product feature to them. Fall detection allows your medical alert device to sense when you’ve fallen and then automatically call the monitoring center in case you’re unable to push your help button. It’s offered with all Medical Guardian devices except for the MGMove.
All Medical Guardian mobile devices with fall detection capabilities already have this technology built in, but when you purchase the product and add fall detection, the company remotely activates this feature. When fall detection is added to the Mini Guardian and Mobile 2.0, the mobile device itself can sense when you fall. With at-home systems and the Mobile 2.0, you have to purchase an individual fall detection pendant that works separately from the help button your system comes with. The Mobile 2.0 also has the option of adding on a separate fall detection pendant for those who prefer fall protection in a separate device, but when you select fall detection with this device, you have to select it for either the fall detection pendant or the Mobile 2.0, not both. Devices with fall detection have sensors that automatically call the monitoring center when they detect a fall. The monitoring center agent will ask if you need emergency personnel, and if you’re unresponsive or confirm that you need help, the agent will dispatch emergency services to your location.
Medical Guardian’s Current Special
Medical Guardian has current specials for new customers:
50% off the Mini Guardian
Free month of service
Free ground shipping
Medical Guardian Reviews
Medical Guardian is one of the largest manufacturers of medical alerts and is consistently ranked among the best medical alert companies. It has strong customer reviews for its products and customer support while an active subscriber. Among our AgingInPlace.org survey respondents who bought a Medical Guardian system, 86% said they were satisfied with their purchase.
The company has an A+ rating from Better Business Bureau (BBB) and is BBB accredited. This is based on a 100% response rate to customer complaints in 3 years. Medical Guardian also scored a 1.16/5 star rating from 58 customer reviews on BBB.
Customers complained about the company’s slow response to cancellation requests and refunds, and concerns about volume limitations of the devices’ speakers. When we talked to customer service, they reported that for hearing-impaired users who can’t respond to the monitoring center, they contact up to four of the users´ emergency contacts to request help. If emergency contacts aren’t responsive, the monitoring center will dispatch the police and EMTs to the users´ locations.
Medical Guardian on Trustpilot
Medical Guardian has 1.2 out of 5 stars on Trustpilot.
73% of 700+ reviewers gave Medical Guardian 4-5 stars. However, other factors besides a strict average of customer reviews dictate Trustpilot’s overall score. Trustpilot also takes into account age and number of reviews, and whether the company actively solicits customers to leave reviews.
Like on the BBB site, we noticed numerous complaints about customer service and frustrations with refunds and replacements.
On its website, Medical Guardian states its services on a product are not canceled until the date the company receives the returned device for leased products or until it receives a signed cancellation letter on purchased devices. The company also charges a $50 restocking fee for leased products. While Medical Guardian also states a refund may take up to 30 days to process, customers have reported that it takes much longer.
Medical Guardian vs Other Medical Alert Companies
Medical Guardian vs Bay Alarm Medical
Medical Guardian and Bay Alarm Medical are two of the highest-scoring brands we have tested. We rated Medical Guardian a 9.57/10 and Bay Alarm Medical a 9.62/10. Both scored high for fast response times, easy setup, great customer service, strong brand reputation, and for having TMA Five Diamond Certified monitoring centers.
Bay Alarm Medical scored slightly higher because it has better pricing options, starting as low as $19.95 per month for the at-home system, compared to Medical Guardian’s starting price of $29.95. Bay Alarm also has no equipment fees for any of its at-home models. Medical Guardian has only one at-home model with no equipment fee. Bay Alarm Medical’s smartwatch is also less expensive than Medical Guardian’s watch—$29.95 per month with a $159 equipment fee compared to $39.95 per month with a $199.95 equipment fee.
For at-home models, however, Medical Guardian offers a better protection range from 1,300-1,400 feet from the base station; Bay Alarm Medical’s protection range is only 1,000 feet. Medical Guardian’s mobile devices also have a longer battery life at five days compared to Bay Alarm Medical’s three-day battery life.
Medical Guardian vs MobileHelp
We gave MobileHelp a lower overall score than Medical Guardian—9.05/10. Voted “best at-home system,” MobileHelp has a similar protection range to Medical Guardian and more at-home product options with more advanced technologies, including a touchscreen tablet option. At $19.95 per month, MobileHelp’s starting price is also lower than Medical Guardian’s starting price.
MobileHelp has an overall lower score than Medical Guardian because its monitoring center is not TMA Five Diamond Certified, and its caregiver app doesn’t have the option for direct, real-time communication between you and your caregiver like Medical Guardian’s MyGuardian app. MobileHelp also charges processing fees when you buy certain devices, an extra charge Medical Guardian doesn’t have.
Medical Guardian vs Life Alert
Life Alert has been in business longer than Medical Guardian and also has a good brand reputation and a TMA Five Diamond Certified monitoring center. Its pendant never has to be charged and has a battery life of 10 years.
However, Life Alert’s products are considerably more expensive, ranging from $49.95 per month to $88.90 per month, and the at-home systems have a shorter protection range of only 800 feet compared to Medical Guardian’s 1,300-1,400 feet. Unlike Medical Guardian, Life Alert charges device activation fees, requires a long-term three-year contract, and doesn’t have the option of automatic fall detection.
Medical Guardian’s website is more user-friendly, and the company doesn’t require you to call to order its products like Life Alert does.
Our Research Methodology: Why You Can Trust Us
The AgingInPlace.org team researches, analyzes, and tests health products to help older adults make better decisions as they age. Our Expert Reviews team specializes in creating reviews for medical alert systems, hearing aids, portable oxygen concentrators, walk-in tubs, adjustable beds, and more. Our reviews are unbiased and follow a strict methodology.
Our team does not accept gifts or favors when recommending one health product over another. We may earn a commission when you click on a link to a product on our page, but all our reviews are influenced only by our independent editorial standards for each category.
In addition, our content is medically reviewed by independent experts in each specific field. These experts are not affiliated with any specific health brands and are practicing medical professionals who help older adults and others find the best products for them. We cater our reviews based on the findings and recommendations of these medical experts.
Medical Guardian operates on the AT&T cellular network. However, you don’t have to add this service to an existing AT&T plan—Medical Guardian systems work independently from a cell or internet account. Your medical alert subscription includes a connection to monitoring centers through the AT&T wireless network.
Depending on a customer’s package, Medical Guardian pricing breaks down to about $0.97– $1.35 per day. Depending on your chosen device, your monthly subscription could cost from $29.95–$39.95 per month. With annual subscriptions, costs range from $27.45–$36.62 per month.
Medical Guardian is a legitimate provider of at-home medical alert systems for several reasons. Firstly, it has Five Diamond Certification from The Monitoring Association (TMA). Next, several thousand customers have left positive reviews of the product. Medical Guardian also has an A+ rating from the BBB. Finally, its U.S.-based response teams are highly professional and can speak with users in various languages.
Medical Guardian works similarly to other medical alert systems. It offers at-home and mobile systems that pair a help button to a base station or mobile device. Should you fall or need emergency assistance, you push the help button to contact a monitoring center that will help you decide if you need emergency responders or help from family or caregivers. You speak with the monitoring center through the speaker on your base station or mobile device. Medical Guardian’s medical alert systems are meant to give you and your loved ones extra security when you’re alone. Eighty-six percent of our AgingInPlace.org survey respondents reported they feel “more confident” or “significantly more confident” when completing their daily tasks after getting a medical alert system.
Medical Guardian is not covered by Medicare Parts A and B, but some Part C plans (“Medicare Advantage”) offer partial coverage of medical alert devices. To confirm coverage, inquire with your provider, as Part C insurance varies based on your plan and where you live. Forty-five percent of our survey respondents stated Medicare Advantage helped them purchase their Medical Guardian system.
Medical Guardian’s wearable help buttons are waterproof, which means you can submerge them in water, such as when you are bathing, without damaging them. Medical Guardian’s smartwatch and mobile devices that are worn on lanyards or belt clips are water-resistant. Water-resistant devices can get wet from activities, such as showering and washing dishes, but shouldn’t be fully submerged in water for long periods of time.
Medical Guardian has a basic one-year manufacturer warranty for purchased products that protects against defects in materials or workmanship. For leased products, this warranty lasts through the leasing period. For coverage of lost or stolen devices and damage from normal wear and tear and accidents, a protection plan can be purchased for $6.99 per month.
Medical Guardian’s alert systems generally have a long battery life, but it will vary depending on which model you use. For instance, the batteries for the Mini Guardian and Mobile 2.0 last five days. The MGMove smartwatch battery lasts up to 24 hours. The Classic Guardian and the Home 2.0 offer a 32-hour backup battery during power outages.
Alex is a writer and speech-language pathologist, specialized in caring for older adults with communication disorders. She writes health and medicine content, with a focus on hearing aids and medical alert systems for AgingInPlace.org.
Jenny is an Adult-Gerontology Primary Care Nurse Practitioner in NYC with a passion for working with aging adults and their family members. Prior to her clinical training at Vanderbilt School of Nursing, she worked in business and medical research at Harvard Business School and Massachusetts General Hospital. As a Caregiving Coach at Givers, Jenny helps family members manage the financial, emotional, and educational stresses of caring for their loved ones who are aging in place.