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Written by
Updated onJun. 10, 2022

WellBe HandsFree Health Review

Key Takeaways

  • HandsFree Health offers two medical alert system devices: the Smart Speaker and the Smartwatch.
  • Both the Smart Speaker and the Smartwatch come with helpful medical features, like medication reminders, caregiver updates, answers to health questions and more.
  • WellBe devices connect to a TMA Five Diamond Certified Monitoring Center. However, the Smart Speaker can only do so by pressing a red button on its head, while the Smartwatch can connect anytime.

Today, Even the best medical alert systems don’t always boast modern, high-tech designs. This is not the case with HandsFree Health, as the company provides two medical alert system devices in its WellBe line that look like they came straight from Amazon or Apple.

The WellBe Smart Speaker launched in July 2020, and the Smartwatch followed in October. The company earned attention from the medical alert industry after winning PM360 Magazine’s Most Innovative Product award in December 2021.

But is WellBe the right medical alert system for you? We’ll walk you through the pros and cons, costs, comparisons to other systems and more.

Why You Can Trust Us

Our experts independently research and recommend products we believe provide value to the lives of our readers. We’ve collectively spent more than 1,700 hours conducting in-depth research on medical alert systems. Our team tested multiple medical alert devices, including HandsFree Health systems, to better understand features and provide the most accurate feedback and recommendations for our readers.  

To decide on our top picks, here’s what we did:

  • Engaged in ongoing independent research
  • 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 and Consumer Reports

Better Business Bureau and Consumer Reports

Learn more about our in-depth medical alert system testing and scoring process.

HandsFree Health WellBe Pros and Cons

Pros
  • TMA Five Diamond Certified Monitoring Center

  • Hands-free calling

  • Medication reminders and heart rate monitor

  • Caregiver texts if medications missed

  • Streams music, audiobooks, and news

  • Wellness tracking through Virtual Assistant app

  • Can call 911 from watch and cancel within 7 seconds

  • Sleek designs for speaker and smartwatch

  • Easy to learn

  • WellBe speaker has no monthly cost

Cons
  • Requires Wi-Fi and smartphone newer than 2019

  • No fall detection

  • No wrist or neck pendant options

  • High startup costs

  • Occasionally spotty watch reception

  • Speaker can only call monitoring center through red button on device

Comparison of HandsFree Health Models

WELLBE MODELS
Monthly Cost
SMART SPEAKER$0
SMARTWATCH$44.95
Wi-Fi Connectivity?
SMART SPEAKERYes
SMARTWATCHYes
Battery Life
SMART SPEAKER24-hour backup battery
SMARTWATCH24 hours
Range
SMART SPEAKERAbout 20 feet with voice activation
SMARTWATCHUnlimited
Can App Connect With Caregivers?
SMART SPEAKERYes
SMARTWATCHYes
Fall Detection
SMART SPEAKERNo
SMARTWATCHNo
Emergency Response Time
SMART SPEAKERUnder 15 seconds
SMARTWATCHUnder 15 seconds
Warranty, Contract, Cancellation
SMART SPEAKEROne-year manufacturer warranty, no contract
SMARTWATCHOne-year manufacturer warranty, no contract
Wearable Device Options
SMART SPEAKERNo
SMARTWATCHYes
Ease Of Use/Setup
SMART SPEAKERPlug and go
SMARTWATCHUse Virtual Assistant to set up
Voice Activated
SMART SPEAKERYes
SMARTWATCHYes
Health Monitoring Capabilities
SMART SPEAKERMedication reminders
SMARTWATCHHeart rate monitor, pedometer, GPS location tracking

HandsFree Health Plan Options

The WellBe Smart Speaker is your health assistant. Much like Amazon’s Alexa and other smart home devices, WellBe’s speaker requires Wi-Fi to use and responds whenever you say the words, “OK, WellBe.” The speaker has a nice range of about 20 feet, so you’ll be able to use the speaker from across the room.

WellBe’s Smart Speaker allows you to contact a loved one using only your voice. If you want to contact the emergency monitoring center, however, you’ll have to press a red button on top of the speaker or say, OK, WellBe, emergency.

The speaker also offers helpful medical information whenever you or a loved one need it. You can customize medication reminders and alerts through the Virtual Assistant app for iPhone and Android.

The speaker connects to the app and allows up to six family members to receive updates. You can also listen to music, audiobooks, or news updates through the speaker.

One of the most high-tech medical alert devices we’ve tested, the WellBe watch uses T-Mobile’s 4G LTE network. The Virtual Assistant is built into the Smartwatch, so you don’t need to use your mobile device for setup. The watch has a built-in heart rate monitor, pedometer to track your steps, GPS-location technology and two-way communication to the monitoring center in case of an emergency.

The watch has a sleek design that’s water-resistant and doesn’t feel heavy. You can hold non-emergency calls through the watch, use voice commands, listen to music through iHeartRadio and Spotify, get news and weather reports, and more. The watch will also remind you about doctor visits, medications, medical cost estimates, COVID-19 updates, and even keep track of your pet’s health info.

HandsFree Health offers a bundled plan with both the Smart Speaker and Smartwatch. The bundle comes with charging cables for both devices, screen protectors, manuals and instruction guides.

How Much Does a WellBe Device Cost?

PLAN
WellBe Smart Speaker
EQUIPMENT COST$189.00
MONTHLY COST$0
TOTAL UPFRONT COST$189.00
WellBe Smartwatch
EQUIPMENT COST$119.95
MONTHLY COST$44.95
TOTAL UPFRONT COST$164.90
WellBe Medical Alert Plus
EQUIPMENT COST$159.95
MONTHLY COST$54.95
TOTAL UPFRONT COST$214.90

WellBe Virtual Assistant App

wellbe app

The WellBe app is called the Virtual Assistant app for iPhone and Android. It’s a crucial component of the Smart Speaker, though not as critical for the Smartwatch. You’ll use the app to enter your information and manage your medications and appointments.

The Home dashboard lets you see the weather for the next three days, plus any upcoming appointments on your schedule. From there, you can access insurance, provider, pharmacy, medication and other records of your medical info.

Another great feature is that your loved ones will be able to download the app and join your “household,” which means they’ll also get access to your medical information.

Customer Service and Satisfaction

Located in Harleysville, Pennsylvania, HandsFree Health can be contacted through its website, although it doesn’t have a phone support number for non-customers. The company currently has 15 employees listed on LinkedIn, and its bio says the company has “over 130 years of combined healthcare experience.” The company has customers in all 50 states, plus Washington D.C. and Puerto Rico.

HandsFree Health is HIPAA compliant. It has a 6.1 score overall from Best Company, but has a high user review score of 4.7 out of 5 stars. 

HandsFree Health’s emergency response monitoring center responded to our calls in less than 15 seconds. That’s faster than the national average and some of the other medical alert systems we’ve tested. While user experience will vary, we found the center to be responsive and helpful.

Comparing HandsFree Health to Other Brands

COMPANY
HandsFree Health
COST$44.95-$54.95 monthly, plus equipment fees
SPECIAL FEATURESHigh-tech tracking through smartwatch, Virtual Assistant app, streams music and audiobooks
RANGE20-foot voice range for speaker, unlimited range with watch
MobileHelp
COST $19.95-$64.95 monthly
SPECIAL FEATURESOptional fall detection, add-ons like MDLive, Mobile Connections, and Mobile Vitals
RANGE1,400-foot range, unlimited range with mobile systems
Medical Guardian
COST$30 monthly average, $10 monthly fall detection
SPECIAL FEATURESCustomer care portal, belt/purse clip, lightweight (1.7-ounce) wearable, waterproof
RANGEUp to a 1,400-foot range, unlimited range with mobile systems and watch
Bay Alarm Medical
COST$19.95-$39.95
SPECIAL FEATURESSmartwatch, caregiver tracking mobile app
RANGE1,000-foot range, unlimited range with mobile systems and watch
Aloe Care Health
COST$24.99-$49.99 monthly, plus equipment fees
SPECIAL FEATURESFall detection, GPS-tracking, two-way talk capability, temperature and air quality monitors, powerful mobile app
RANGE200-foot range for base, unlimited range for Mobile Companion

How We Reviewed HandsFree Health

In determining AgingInPlace.org’s top picks, the most important criteria we considered were the quality and reliability of a company’s monitoring center. We did not consider any unmonitored alert systems or systems that fail to provide emergency service 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

The gold standard in quality assurance of a medical alert system is a company’s designation as one of The Monitoring Association’s (TMA) Five Diamond Alert Monitoring Centers. You might see companies refer to this on their website as CSAA Five Diamond Alert Monitoring Centers. TMA was formerly known as Central Station Alarm Association (CSSA).

Of the thousands of alarm companies in operation in the United States, roughly 200 earn TMA’s Five Diamond designation, a hallmark of quality emergency service.

You’ll also see companies advertise that they are “UL-listed,” another quality indicator. UL stands for Underwriter’s Laboratory, and UL-listed products have been tested by this independent, nationally recognized laboratory and determined to meet specific safety requirements.

After analyzing the quality of a company’s call centers, we considered these additional variables:

  • Response time ranging from 1-45 seconds
  • Price of equipment, installation, and monthly service
  • Warranties, contracts, and hidden fees
  • Comfort, appeal, and wearability of mobile devices
  • In-home range of equipment
  • Water resistance of wearable devices
  • Battery life and recharging requirements
  • Ease of setup and use
  • Customer service accessibility and performance
  • Customer satisfaction reviews
  • Expert opinions
  • Special features like automatic fall detection, smartphone apps for family members, and location tracking

Bottom Line

When it comes to high-tech medical devices, HandsFree Health’s WellBe products are some of the sleekest options on the market. With fast response times, helpful alerts to caregivers, and great extra features like music and audiobooks, both the Smart Speaker and Smartwatch stand out from other medical alert systems.

That doesn’t mean they’re for everyone. The best personal emergency response systems seem specifically designed to respond to emergencies. By contrast, HandsFree Health’s devices seem more like helpful medical products to make your life easier. The focus on responding to emergencies is secondary.

That doesn’t mean using a WellBe device won’t save your life, but these products are designed first as helpful assistants for your health care that also come with a lifesaving PERS function.

The Smartwatch truly shines, though. It’s rare to find a discreet, medically focused smartwatch that offers so much. If you don’t mind the cost, we recommend opting for the Smartwatch, at least. It just might change your life.

Frequently Asked Questions

HandsFree Health provides medical alert systems that rank highly in our testing methodology. While the up-front cost of HandsFree Health’s WellBe systems might be high, the Smart Speaker doesn’t come with a monthly subscription, which means you won’t have to pay a monthly fee to use it.

Pricing is accurate as of April 13, 2022.

Other Medical Alert Systems That We Have Reviewed

Our Comparisons Of Medical Alert Systems

WRITTEN BY

Zach Riggs has worked as a professional writer since 2016 covering topics in healthcare, tech and personal finance for publications including Forbes, MarketWatch, Gizmodo and more. He currently specializes in coverage on hearing aids and medical alert systems.

MEDICALLY REVIEWED BY

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.