MobileHelp vs Medical Guardian

Updated: Aug 08, 2022

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Key Takeaways

  • MobileHelp and Medical Guardian are both well-known brands of medical alert systems available on the market.
  • While it has more features available than Medical Guardian, MobileHelp costs more per month.
  • MobileHelp has a shorter battery life on its base units than Medical Guardian, but the company’s wearable help buttons have a battery life of five years.

MobileHelp and Medical Guardian are two of our most recommended medical alert system providers on AgingInPlace.org, and for good reason. Both consistently perform well and have a variety of devices and plans to offer, which means deciding between the two can be overwhelming.

After carefully reviewing the pros and cons of each provider’s offerings, we’ve broken down everything you need to know when making your final decision. The first important step is to evaluate your priorities. Do you need a device with extra features and deals? Do you need one that is simple and has a long battery life? Whatever lifestyle you or your loved ones lead, it’s best to keep that in mind when making your decision.

What Is a Medical Alert System?

Medical alert system

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 3 million older people are treated in emergency departments for fall injuries each year. That’s why a medical alert system is a good idea if your or a loved one has an increased risk of falling. A medical alert system is a set of home or mobile devices that serves as additional protection for older adults or other individuals living independently. The medical alert device connects you or your loved one to a 24/7 emergency response center during an emergency, such as a fall. You can ask for help verbally, or just request immediate assistance by pressing the help button on the device. Specially trained agents will then send emergency responders to your location. With a medical alert system, you’ll have the peace of mind of knowing that help is always just around the corner whenever you need it. 

MobileHelp Overview

MobileHelp has been around since 2006, and in that time has become a highly popular choice in the medical alert system market. The company was the first medical alert system brand to commodify automatic fall detection. The Better Business Bureau (BBB) rates the company as a 4.39 out of 5, with only 35 major complaints in the last three years. MobileHelp has a strong aptitude for customer satisfaction and offers advanced, unique medical alert devices (including a touchscreen tablet). We recommend the brand mostly for individuals and older adults who prefer staying close to home due to the shorter battery lives of the systems, but the systems do come with many extra features not commonly offered by medical alert devices. 

The company offers eight plans: three for in-home only, two for mobile coverage, and three for both mobile and in-home. The company also offers an app that can live-check device locations using cellular and GPS capabilities, but there is currently no way to directly communicate with the individual holding the device.

While MobileHelp offers flexible contracts, there’s currently no warranty offered on any devices, and automatic fall detection pendants have an additional cost of $10 per month. 

If you’re looking for a medical alert system with a lot of extra features, including medication reminders, activity trackers, waterproof buttons, mobile MD visits, and automatic fall detection, consider looking into MobileHelp’s many available plans. In-home plans begin at a monthly cost of $19.95, while mobile plans begin at $33.95 and bundle plans begin at $41.95—and a lockbox is included per order free of charge. MobileHelp is also known to have a rapid response time that’s 40 seconds below the industry average.

Top Features:

  1. 1,400-foot protection range with at-home cellular system
  2. Offers three at-home options and more advanced at-home devices like the digital tablet Touch Classic
  3. Connect virtually with a board-certified doctor with MDLIVE telehealth for an additional monthly fee

Pros

  • 30-day money-back guarantee

  • Medication reminder available

  • Product quiz to help you find the best device for you

  • Eight packages available: three at-home options, two on-the-go options, and three bundle options

Cons

  • $49.95–$99.95 processing fee charged for some devices

  • Monitoring center not The Monitoring Association (TMA) Five Diamond Certified

Medical Guardian Overview

With its impressive reputation, Medical Guardian is one of the best options in the industry. Proudly boasting that it’s “#1 Nationwide,” Medical Guardian is one of the more widely known medical alert system providers. With a 24/7 TMA Five Diamond-certified monitoring center, Medical Guardian has a fiercely loyal customer base for a reason. The company is known to have affordable pricing options, a variety of device options, and a variety of payment plans to meet your needs. Some of the highlights include a smartwatch option and water-resistant wearable help buttons that can be replaced free of charge.

The in-home monthly costs range from $27.45–$34.95 per month, with no risk-free 30-day trial period currently offered. There are annual payment plans available (though shipping fees are added on if you don’t choose the annual payment plan at checkout), and you also have the option to add on extra features, such as fall detection pendants for $10 per month, wireless wall buttons for $2.99–$4.99 per month, and lockboxes for $2.99 per month. All packages (besides the Mini Guardian) include free access to MyGuardian, the company’s caregiver app.

While BBB gives Medical Guardian an A+ rating, on Trustpilot, the brand only has a 1.2 score, with numerous complaints related to customer service and issues with refunds and replacements. However, in the broader context, 73% of the reviews were “great” to “excellent” while only 15% of the reviews were “bad” and 4% “poor.” We give Medical Guardian high marks for factors that include fast response time, easy setup, and their 24/7 monitoring center. On Medical Guardian’s website, the brand has a 4.3 out of 5 score from thousands of reviews.

Top Features: 

  1. 1,300-foot range for the at-home landline system and 1,400-foot protection range for the at-home cellular system
  2. Lightweight mobile devices and smartwatch option 
  3. Less than 15-second response time during our system test

Pros

  • No charge for cancellation and pro-rated refund

  • The Monitoring Association (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 you find the best device for you

Cons

  • Device protection plan costs extra

  • Contracts are month-to-month after a three-month minimum commitment

Does MobileHelp Cost More Than Medical Guardian?

With the exception of the MobileHelp Classic, a landline-only plan that costs $19.95 per month, MobileHelp can cost more than Medical Guardian medical alert systems. It depends on which plan you select from a provider because both can have more costs associated, such as device leases.

However, MobileHelp’s devices tend to come with extra features that are offset by the higher monthly cost, such as the free lockbox and waterproof buttons. The Touch Classic plan comes with medication reminders and activity trackers, which is not an option on any Medical Guardian devices. 

Which is Better: MobileHelp or Medical Guardian?

If you’re wanting a simple medical alert system with a lower monthly subscription cost, we would recommend the Medical Guardian. The longer battery life on its mobile systems is perfect for loved ones who enjoy traveling, and the wearable help buttons are safe for the shower and easy to use overall. However, because of the low monthly cost, there is an additional fee for most add-ons.

If you’re wanting a medical alert system with more bells and whistles and bundled device options, we’d recommend MobileHelp. Although it costs a little more per month, you receive more for your money, such as free lockboxes, wall buttons, and more wearable waterproof help buttons. The Touchscreen plan offers medication reminders and activity trackers if this is something you or your loved one need.

Comparing Other Medical Alert Systems We Recommend

Bottom Line

MobileHelp and Medical Guardian are two solid picks if you’re looking for a medical alert device. Medical Guardian is better for those who like to travel and want a cheaper monthly cost, but MobileHelp would suit loved ones who stick closer to home and need extra features and wall buttons.

Both brands have an excellent reputation, as well as a wide range of devices to choose from. While the medical alert system brands both offer simple devices that connect to highly rated U.S.-based monitoring centers, MobileHelp has device options with extra features like medication reminders. MobileHelp also comes with waterproof help buttons, whereas Medical Guardian only has water-resistant help buttons. Although MobileHelp has a higher price point, the extra features and the free trial make the price tag worthwhile to many users. Medical Guardian is better for those on a budget, but additions to your plan, such as lockboxes and extra wall buttons, all come at an extra cost.

It’s important that you carefully weigh your financial situation, medical needs, and lifestyle before making a final selection.

How We Review Medical Alert Systems

Rating ranking reviewing process

You deserve the best products for a better quality of life. As such, we strive to create honest, helpful reviews that are backed by firsthand shopping, testing, and research. Our content is medically reviewed and unbiased to help you choose the right medical alert system for you or your loved one.

From over 1,000 hours of research, we choose 11 of the top brands that we believe are the best medical alert systems. MobileHelp and Medical Guardian are two of our top medical alert system picks. We did the following throughout our research process:

  • Consulted with geriatricians and adult caregivers
  • Mystery shopped the brands
  • Surveyed medical alert system users
  • Tested various medical alert systems
  • Interviewed experts in the field
  • Read hundreds of verified customer reviews from trusted third parties, such as Better Business Bureau (BBB) and Trustpilot

We grade each medical alert company against a 1–10 rating scale and score them according to the following categories:

  • Essential features
  • Product functionality
  • Special features
  • Customer service
  • Purchasing process

Features and criteria within each of these five categories are assigned point values. The more points a company receives for each criteria, the higher they score in the overall category.

See our full explanation of how our methodology for a full breakdown of criteria in each category and our scoring system.

Frequently Asked Questions

For an additional $10 per month, MobileHelp has the option of adding a fall detection pendant to your plan.

Pricing is accurate as of  July 21, 2022.

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WRITTEN BY

Kalise Gartner is a freelance writer focusing on products and businesses that serve those in need, as well as mental health and technology. She worked in the home healthcare industry alongside her mother in the early stages of her career, scheduling nurses and therapists for elderly patients. Her work has been used in small and local business pages, enriching and supporting her community’s business opportunities.

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Kalise Gartner, "MobileHelp vs Medical Guardian," last modified: Aug 08, 2022, https://aginginplace.org/medical-alert-systems/mobilehelp-vs-medical-guardian/.