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Medical Guardian Review9 minute read

9 minute read

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Updated for December, 2018

Whatever need you’re hoping to fill with a medical alert system—whether it’s just peace of mind at home, some added reassurance of independent mobility, or the ability to keep tabs on an isolated loved one—Medical Guardian provides a package for you. Its systems range from the basic pendant-and-base-station combos offered by other medical alert systems to the high-tech but still easy-to-use Active Guardian unit that allows a senior on the go to rely on GPS-targeted help in an emergency, with a wide range of features and price points in between. Medical Guardian is a slightly more expensive option than some of its competitors, but its combination of quality and flexibility has earned it our recognition as best all-round medical alert system for 2018.

Pros
  • Packages include online monitoring of health and location
  • Free equipment
  • No contract required
  • No installation/activation fees
  • Lifetime warranty on equipment
  • 1300 foot wearable range is longest in industry
Cons
  • Fewer upgrades than other systems
  • Fall Detection not standard in any plan
Pricing Classic Guardian Home Guardian Family Guardian Mobile Guardian Active Guardian
Monthly $29.95 $34.95 $75.95 $39.95 $49.95
60-day Trial X X X X X
Free Activation X X X X X
Free Ground Shipping X X X X X
Free Equipment Use X X X X X
Free Monitoring for Spouse X X X X X
Long Term Contract No No No No No
Cancellation Fee No No No No No
Product Features
Home Based X X X
Mobile Based X X
GPS Enabled No No No Yes Yes
Water Resistant X X X X X
Range 1,300 ft 600 ft 1,300 ft Unlimited Unlimited
Warranty X X X X X
Battery Life 32 hr backup 30 hr backup 32 hr backup 24 hrs 5 days
Fall Detection Available (add'l fee) X X X X
Activity Sensors No No Yes No Yes
Service Features
Connection Landline Cellular Cellular Cellular Cellular
2-way Speakers X X X X X
24/7 Emergency Call Center X X X X X
Unlimited Button Presses X X X X X
Multilingual Support X X X X X
Call 911, Family or Friends X X X X X

Medical Guardian Review

Most medical alert systems provide users with a basic three- or two-part configuration: a wearable device with an easily manipulated button that either connects with a base station in the home that in turn alerts a call center, or a wearable device that gives the user a direct cellular link to the call center. Once the user is in touch with the call center, the call center staff then responds appropriately. Medical Guardian provides this basic configuration, but it also offers some extra packages and features that allow users to improve the reliability and functionality of the basic medical alert model—features that not only give the user peace of mind, but can allow family and caregivers to keep tabs on a senior even if they’re far away.

Medical Guardian’s least expensive and simplest option is the Classic Guardian, a standard signaling device/base station setup in which the user wears (as a pendant or wristband) a large, easy-to-manipulate button. When pressed, this button activates a base station, which then contacts the Medical Guardian call center. At this level, and for most of Medical Guardian’s packages, the wearable is actually fairly attractive, and the landline-connected Classic Guardian base station has one of the longest wearable-to-station ranges in the industry while also being designed to go unnoticed by visitors in the home. With this package, and for most of Medical Guardian’s other packages, fall detection is available for an additional fee (though the fall detection device is only available in pendant form). Note, too, that Medical Guardian’s systems are fully portable—if you’re going to reside temporarily somewhere else (at a relative’s house, say) just bring the base station along and notify their call center of your new location.

Medical Guardian touts its next tier of service as its best value—and it would be for those wanting a cellular connection between the base station and the call center, but others looking for value might want to stick with the Classic Guardian package. Once again, the Home Guardian works as standard wearable-to-base-station-to-call-center setup, and while it does offer the convenience of a cellular connection, it provides a substantially shorter range to its signaling devices, meaning that you’re not able to wander as far from the base station.

Medical Guardian provides this basic configuration, but it also offers some extra packages and features that allow users to improve the reliability and functionality of the basic medical alert model.

For those concerned about monitoring their loved one’s health and mobility (or for seniors hoping to give their loved ones peace of mind without constant check-ins), the Family Guardian package is probably one of the best offerings in the industry. In addition to the basic wearable/base station home setup offered via the Classic Guardian, the Family Guardian package includes devices that track door openings (a useful feature when family is trying to keep tabs on a relative with Alzheimer’s or dementia), and motion sensors that can track things like bathroom usage, time spent in the kitchen, and whether the user has left their bed. This information is relayed to a mobile app that charts activity over the day and the week, allowing any authorized user with a mobile device to keep tabs on their loved one’s functioning.

Medical Guardian also offers two mobile devices. One, the Mobile Guardian, is an ingenious combination of the basic home setup—a lightweight, portable base station about the size of a pager that can also be activated (within a 350 foot range) by Medical Guardian’s standard wearables, allowing the user to decide whether to keep the base station on their person or opt for the less prominent pendant or wristband. At home, this portable cellular base station can operate like a standard base station. As convenient as it is, however, the Mobile Guardian has one drawback: it does not offer a fall detection function, even for an additional fee. Fall detection is available, however, on Medical Guardian’s other mobile option, the Active Guardian, which functions as a direct-to-call-center cellular device that allows for two-way communication with a call center technician at the press of a button.

For their response center, Medical Guardian contracts out to a TMA five-diamond certified facility with technicians able (via an interpreter service) to respond to more than 100 foreign languages and fully trained to respond to potential emergency situations. Medical Guardian stresses, however, that their call center need not only be used for emergencies: they mention the peace of mind that comes from having a dedicated line to reach someone, and their technicians are trained to do more than just get emergency help—they’re prepared to activate the user’s personal network in order to rally support or take steps to address the user’s emotional needs.

Pricing Classic Guardian Home Guardian Family Guardian Mobile Guardian Active Guardian
Monthly $29.95 $34.95 $75.95 $39.95 $49.95
60-day Trial X X X X X
Free Activation X X X X X
Free Ground Shipping X X X X X
Free Equipment Use X X X X X
Free Monitoring for Spouse X X X X X
Long Term Contract No No No No No
Cancellation Fee No No No No No
Product Features
Home Based X X X
Mobile Based X X
GPS Enabled No No No Yes Yes
Water Resistant X X X X X
Range 1,300 ft 600 ft 1,300 ft Unlimited Unlimited
Warranty X X X X X
Battery Life 32 hr backup 30 hr backup 32 hr backup 24 hrs 5 days
Fall Detection Available (add'l fee) X X X X
Activity Sensors No No Yes No Yes
Service Features
Connection Landline Cellular Cellular Cellular Cellular
2-way Speakers X X X X X
24/7 Emergency Call Center X X X X X
Unlimited Button Presses X X X X X
Multilingual Support X X X X X
Call 911, Family or Friends X X X X X

Medical Guardian’s pricing puts it in about the middle range for medical alert systems, and the company offers much of the payment flexibility we look for to help insure that users aren’t stuck with a system that doesn’t meet their needs. All models offer a 60-day trial period with free activation, free ground shipping, and free equipment use. In addition, Medical Guardian does not require a long term contract, and it doesn’t charge a cancellation fee. One big plus is that all of its packages include free monitoring for spouses, which is a surprisingly rare offer in the industry. At the same time, however, its upper-end monitoring services can be fairly pricey, especially the Family Guardian option, which comes in at more than $70 a month. You get a lot of extra features for that amount, but people looking for a more basic system might be better off with Medical Guardian’s lower tier options, or some of the selections offered by Bay Alarm Medical. One final note: for all packages, fall detection costs an extra $10/month.

Overall, customers expressed significant satisfaction with Medical Guardian’s services and equipment, with a fairly restrictive return policy—customers are required to pay return shipping for damaged or non-functioning equipment, and can be out $350 if it’s determined that they’re responsible for damage to the base station—being the only significant downside. At the same time, the company offers 24/7 technical support, ensuring that you don’t have to use an emergency contact in order to get help with a malfunctioning system. And we found their website extremely useful for those comparison shopping, with features and pricing clearly laid out.

Medical Guardian receives generally good reviews online, with customers praising the company’s employees and equipment and expressing appreciation for the peace of mind they’ve gained using Medical Guardian’s service, with some reservations expressed over the GPS location monitors not being as accurate as users would like.

Pricing Classic Guardian Home Guardian Family Guardian Mobile Guardian Active Guardian
Monthly $29.95 $34.95 $75.95 $39.95 $49.95
60-day Trial X X X X X
Free Activation X X X X X
Free Ground Shipping X X X X X
Free Equipment Use X X X X X
Free Monitoring for Spouse X X X X X
Long Term Contract No No No No No
Cancellation Fee No No No No No
Product Features
Home Based X X X
Mobile Based X X
GPS Enabled No No No Yes Yes
Water Resistant X X X X X
Range 1,300 ft 600 ft 1,300 ft Unlimited Unlimited
Warranty X X X X X
Battery Life 32 hr backup 30 hr backup 32 hr backup 24 hrs 5 days
Fall Detection Available (add'l fee) X X X X
Activity Sensors No No Yes No Yes
Service Features
Connection Landline Cellular Cellular Cellular Cellular
2-way Speakers X X X X X
24/7 Emergency Call Center X X X X X
Unlimited Button Presses X X X X X
Multilingual Support X X X X X
Call 911, Family or Friends X X X X X

If you’re shopping for a medical alert system, you’re likely to find what you’re looking for in Medical Guardian. With a highly affordable basic option and some very useful additional features offered in higher price tiers, Medical Guardian’s packages offer all of the more useful services and functions available in medical alert systems, making it all the more likely that you’ll wind up with the technology that suits you best. And that’s the most important thing: if you’re comfortable with the system you choose, you’re more likely to use it in an emergency—and maintain your independence for longer and with a higher quality of life.