Medical Guardian Review: Cost, monitoring range, and special features
Updated for November, 2021
- The Medical Guardian alert system line includes both in-home systems and mobile medical alert devices.
- Medical Guardian partners with U.S.-based response centers to provide 24/7 monitoring.
- MyGuardian app includes medication and appointment reminders and chat features between caregivers.
- Voice-activated, wall-mounted buttons can assist in an emergency when the user can speak but may not be able to move.
- Fall detection technology costs an additional $10 per month.
- Medical Guardian operators can relay information about medications, preferred hospitals, or conditions to medical professionals.
- Lockbox gives EMTs easy entry into the home.
- Devices integrate GPS, 4G LTE, and WiFi technology for uninterrupted location monitoring.
Why You Can Trust Our Expert Review
Our experts independently research and recommend products we believe provide value in the lives of our readers. We’ve spent collectively more than 1,700 hours conducting in-depth research on medical alert systems. To make our 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
Why Medical Guardian Alert System Is One of Our Top Picks
Medical Guardian is one of our top picks for best medical alert systems for its variety of both at-home and on-the-go devices, its far device ranges (one of the farthest in the industry), and its long battery life. Add in the fact that Medical Guardian receives overall high marks from customers in reviews and its monitoring center earned TMA Five Diamond Certification, and Medical Guardian easily differentiates itself from the competition.
Medical Guardian Pros and Cons
- Help buttons are water-resistant so they can be worn in high-risk, slippery areas like the shower.
- Its response center meets rigorous guidelines for TMA Five Diamond Certification.
- It uses 4G LTE, GPS, WiFi, or landline.
- It has thousands of positive customer reviews on third-party review websites and an A+ rating with the Better Business Bureau.
- Backup batteries keep at-home devices running in the event of a power outage.
- There is free activation, installation, and almost no extra fees (aside from the Mini-Guardian and Freedom Guardian’s one-time equipment fees).
- Fall detection is only included at an extra cost of $10 per month.
- The Mini Guardian has a one-time equipment fee of $124.95.
- The lockbox must be added for an extra $2.99 per month.
- Contracts are month-to-month after a three-month minimum commitment.
- If the system is damaged, you may need to pay a $350 damaged equipment fee.
Comparison of Medical Guardian Models
|Model||Cost||Connectivity||Battery life||Home Range||Wearability||At-home or on-the-go||Fall detection available?|
|Mini Guardian||$39.95 per month; one-time fee of $124.95||WiFi, GPS, 4G||5 days||Mobile coverage||Belt clip, neck pendant||On-the-go|
|Mobile 2.0||$49.95 per month||WiFi, GPS, 4G||5 days||Mobile coverage||Belt clip, neck pendant, wristband||On-the-go|
|Active Guardian||$44.95 per month||WiFi, GPS, 4G||7 days||Mobile coverage||Belt clip, neck pendant||On-the-go|
|Freedom Guardian||$44.95 per month; one-time fee of $179.95||WiFi, GPS, 4G||2 days||Mobile coverage||Smartwatch||On-the-go|
|Classic Guardian||$29.95 per month||Landline||32-hour backup battery (in case of power outage)||Up to 1,300 feet||Wristband, neck pendant||At-home|
|Home 2.0||$34.95 per month||WiFi, GPS, 4G||32-hour backup battery (in case of power outage)||Up to 1,400 feet||Wristband, neck pendant||At-home|
The Medical Guardian line includes three on-the-go models: the Mini Guardian, Mobile 2.0, and Active Guardian, along with two at-home options: the Classic Guardian and Home 2.0.
The Mini Guardian packs a lot of power in its small package, and its long-lasting battery can run five days before needing a recharge. Users can clip the lightweight Mini onto a lanyard or directly onto their clothing, then forget about the device until they need it. This device can be worn everywhere as it runs on 4G technology, so you aren’t tied to your home base in order to remain protected.
When activated, the device opens two-way communication with a 24/7 emergency response operator who will know just where to find you through the GPS locator. Clear audio is important in an emergency, so the device is equipped with a high-definition speaker and noise cancellation technology. The Mini Guardian costs $39.95 per month and includes a one-time equipment fee of $124.95.
The Mobile 2.0 includes access to MyGuardian, a program that notifies your contacts, or Care Circle, of emergencies. This simplifies communication between caregivers and emergency services to keep everyone in the loop. The Mobile 2.0 uses GPS, WiFi, and 4G LTE to monitor your location and safety.
This lightweight system works as a base unit paired with a help button, which can be easily clipped to clothing or a bag, or worn around the neck or wrist. At only 1.7 ounces, it’s not bulky or awkward. The battery charge lasts three to five days, so you won’t have to think twice about longer excursions or day trips. Mobile 2.0 subscribers pay $49.95 for this service.
The portable Active Guardian is a lightweight medical alert that can be worn on the clothes using a belt clip or as a lanyard. Like the other on-the-go products, it uses a trifecta of 4G, WiFi, and GPS to keep the wearer covered as they travel; if you have an emergency outside the house, operators can summon EMTs to your exact location.
This device has the longest battery life of the Medical Guardian line, offering seven full days of coverage. Using the new MyGuardian portal and app, your team of caregivers are instantly reachable and can even chat with each other within the app to manage tasks and activities. For $44.95 per month, users can enjoy the flexibility of the Active Guardian.
The Freedom Guardian 2.0 is a smartwatch focused on the wearer’s health and wellness. You don’t have to be tech-savvy to utilize this simplified touchscreen interface. In addition to safety features, the watch also offers weather forecasting, medication and appointment reminders, heart rate monitoring, and the ability to record and send messages to your caregiving team.
Even though the unit is small, users can communicate with the monitoring center through a high-definition two-way speaker. When you press and hold the red help button, the 24/7 emergency team can summon EMTs, mental health professionals, or even a family member to check in. The watch is equipped with location reporting through GPS and WiFi, so the wearer can go about their daily errands knowing their safety is being monitored. The Freedom Guardian is $44.95 for the monthly subscription, with a one-time equipment fee of $179.95.
For users who like to remain close to home — or for those who live in areas with poor WiFi or cell service — the Classic Guardian may be the best choice, at $29.95 per month. This at-home alert system uses a base device connected through your landline, and it monitors the user, who wears a help button paired with the home base. Users can wear the device around their neck or wrist and move about the property confident that they are covered by a radius of up to 1,300 feet — more than three football fields.
The Medical Guardian Home 2.0 adds another 100 feet of protection for a 1,400-foot range. This system also adds on a 32-hour backup battery in case of a power outage. Its pendant snaps easily into either the necklace or wristband, so the wearer can choose the most comfortable style for that day’s activities. The Home 2.0 also has the option to share with a partner. Add multiple wearable buttons to your subscription and keep your caregivers in the loop with your whole household.
Additionally, the Home 2.0 is equipped with voice-assist technology; users simply push a button on the base unit to access daily reports and information about the device. Users pay $34.95 for the Home 2.0 (considered an upgrade from the Classic system).
How Much Does Medical Guardian Cost?
Depending on the Medical Guardian package a customer chooses, a monthly subscription breaks down to about $0.97 to $1.35 a day. There are no extra fees except in the case of the Mini Guardian, which requires a one-time equipment fee of $124.95, and the Freedom Guardian 2.0 smartwatch, which requires a one-time equipment fee of $179.95.
When choosing your device subscription, you can pay on a monthly, quarterly, semiannual, or annual basis. However, by paying annually, you’re given a discount on the overall cost. If you know you’ll use the device for at least one year and you’re keen on saving money, paying annually is the most cost-effective option.
While Medical Guardian does offer month-to-month contracts, users are required to first meet a three-month minimum. Other than this initial commitment, there are no long-term contracts. Refunds are also available for undamaged equipment; however, equipment loss and damage could result in a $350 fee. To insure their equipment, some customers opt for a protection plan for an additional $6.99 a month.
Savvy shoppers should be on the lookout for promotions and discounts. Occasionally, Medical Guardian has special offers for new customers, like a complimentary lockbox or the first month of service free.
Medicare Parts A and B do not offer coverage for medical alert services, but Medicare Part C and some private insurance companies do sometimes offer coverage. We suggest inquiring with your insurance provider to see if your policy reimburses some portion of your medical alert costs.
The Medical Guardian App and Accessories
- MyGuardian App: Made with caregivers in mind, the MyGuardian app keeps your Care Circle in the loop in case of emergency and also helps with the daily tasks of caring for an aging loved one. Within the platform, app users can monitor their loved one, chat with other caregivers, manage tasks, and create medication reminders. The care information detailed about the user in the app can be passed along to medical professionals for more informed treatment in an emergency. For those who live farther away from their loved one, this app can help them be a more active caregiver.
- Lockbox: The Medical Guardian lockbox is an extra $2.99 a month. In an emergency where the medical alert wearer cannot open/unlock the door, the medical response team is able to give EMTs your lockbox code. This prevents damage to entryways if EMTs need to gain access. Some other medical alert companies offer lockboxes at a set price, which may save money in the long term, but Medical Guardian offers only a monthly option.
- Wall-mounted buttons: For extra protection at home, wall-mounted buttons can be placed in high-risk or high traffic areas. Customers can add these buttons for an extra $2 per month, per button. Voice-activated buttons, which are alerted to the phrase “Call Medical Guardian,” can provide extra peace of mind, protecting loved ones in a situation where they can’t reach the help button. However, voice-activated technology is only available with the Classic Guardian, and costs an extra $5 per month, per button.
Customer Service and Satisfaction
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 both its products and customer support. The company has received an A+ rating from the Better Business Bureau and 4.5/5 stars from Best Company.
On Trustpilot, where Medical Guardian has only 1.3 stars, reviews reveal mixed experiences with the brand. Of these negative reviews, we noticed numerous complaints about customer service and frustrations with refunds and replacements. We include this range of reviews to give a full and realistic picture of the company. While 25 percent of Trustpilot reviews of Medical Guardian were “bad” to “fair,” 75 percent were “great” to “excellent.” Despite the positive reviews, Trustpilot ratings aren’t simply an average of all reviews. The consumer review site also takes into account age and number of reviews, as well as whether the company actively solicits customers to leave reviews.
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 their staff undergoes intensive training. The U.S.-based team uses translation services to speak to users in any language using a third-party translation service. Customers report that, even when summoned accidentally, the highly professional response teams are warm and helpful.
Comparing Medical Guardian to Other Brands
|Medical Alert Brand||Cost (per month)||Special Features||Home Range|
|Medical Guardian||$29.95–$49.95||Water-resistant; $2.99 monthly lockbox; free spouse monitoring after second pendant; WiFi and GPS tracking; $10 monthly fall detection||Up to 1,400 feet|
|Life Alert||$49.95–$88.90||Water-resistant; 72-hour backup battery; wall-mounted button for shower; spouse monitoring||Up to 800 feet|
|MobileHelp||$19.95–$41.95||Water-resistant; power outage backup batteries; no equipment fees; lockbox free with most plans; tracking app; $10 monthly fall detection||Up to 1,400 feet|
|Bay Alarm Medical||$19.95–$39.95||Water-resistant; lifetime rate guarantee; 4G LTE network; Bella Charms to accessorize your necklace pendant; $10 monthly fall detection||Up to 1,000 feet|
What to Consider Before Buying a Medical Alert System
Individuals looking to age in place can use technology to create a safer home for themselves and peace of mind for their caregivers. A medical alert system shopper needs to consider how their lifestyle influences what features they need in a device. Users who are active and like the freedom to move about their town/city should opt for an on-the-go device like the Mini Guardian or Mobile 2.0, which support users with WiFi, 4G LTE, and GPS technology. If you or your loved one want peace of mind and independence, these systems offer that flexibility.
Potential buyers should also consider their connectivity. People who live in rural areas or places with poor cell reception will want a system that connects to the monitoring center via a stable landline.
Some shoppers may be looking for a medical alert for a loved one who may not reliably wear or charge a pendant. For these situations, consider a system like the Medical Guardian voice-activated, wall mounted buttons. LifeFone, Get Safe, Medical Care Alert, and Apple Watch also have voice-activated systems.
Finally, think about your health and potential medical risks. Dr. Brandy Archie, an occupational therapist in Kansas City, MO with a focus on home health and living in place, explains that, “Fall detection is an important feature if you live alone and especially if memory or cognition are a concern.” These devices automatically contact emergency services even if you’re unable to summon help yourself. Medical Guardian, Bay Alarm Medical, and Medical Alert all add this service for $10 a month; LifeFone offers fall protection for just $5 per month.
The CDC has found that one in five falls can lead to serious injury; medical alert systems are a good fit for those who want to minimize risks to their independence.
Medical Guardian Customer Reviews
“My mother fell while outside and someone contacted her immediately and offered to call me or 911. She was ok so she thanked them and told them there was no need to call anyone, but she was very impressed by the fast and considerate service. I am reassured that I did the right thing by purchasing the fall detection service for her. I highly recommend this service.
— D. LEHMAN, VERIFIED CUSTOMER (REVIEW FROM TRUSTPILOT.COM)
“The product is fine but the customer service is terrible. It took 3 weeks for the company to acknowledge a return. The return was received, a credit was issued and then I was billed again in 3 weeks. I would not do business with Medical Guardian again.”
— JOEL, VERIFIED CUSTOMER (REVIEW FROM TRUSTPILOT.COM)
“I just ordered Medical Guardian for my grandmother. It couldn’t have been an easier process. They had online chat so I could ask all my questions quietly at work, and then when it came time to order I just had to call really quickly with my credit card. I haven’t received the unit yet, but if it’s as good as their customer service I will be really happy. Plus, you can’t beat the price!”
— CARY, VERIFIED CUSTOMER (REVIEW FROM TRUSTPILOT.COM)
How we reviewed Medical Guardian
We reviewed Medical Guardian based on the following criteria:
- Price of installation and monthly service
- Warranties, contracts, and (whether it has any) hidden fees
- Reliability of monitoring center
- Comfort and wearability of mobile devices
- In-home range of equipment
- Water resistance of wearable devices
- Battery life and recharging requirements
- Ease of installation and use
- Expert opinion
- Customer service accessibility and performance
- Customer satisfaction reviews
- Company reputation
- Special features such as automatic fall detection, smartphone apps for family members, and location tracking
What cell carrier does Medical Guardian use?
How much does Medical Guardian cost?
Is Medical Guardian covered by Medicare?
A medical alert system with automatic fall detection can save a life—just be sure to go with a trusted brand.
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