“Why should I have a medical alert system, when I can call for help using my phone?” – a question many people asks. It is an undeniable truth that a personal emergency system offers much more than simply summoning help, but the rising popularity of smartphones provides an opportunity for companies to come up with new and innovative safety solutions. In recent years, standalone medical alert applications have started to appear, and some medical alert providers developed their own addition to the smartphone world, enriching their service. Whether it is an independent or brand-related program, smartphone apps are the harbingers of the future generation’s medical alert protectors.
Medical Alert Systems with Apps
The top medical alert companies never let their research and development departments take a rest and are constantly working on new solutions to further improve their medical alert service. In recent years, many have developed a smartphone application to complement the medical alert system. Either they provide an extra means of calling the monitoring staff for assistance, or they serve to put the minds of relatives and caretakers at ease by informing them about the well-being of their loved one.
Best Medical Alert Systems of 2020
|Editor's Choice 2020|
GreatCall Splash: Setting Relatives’ Minds at Ease
GreatCall Splash is an innovative mobile personal emergency system with strong features. One of them is the smartphone app called GreatCall Link. The software is more likely useful for relatives and caregivers rather than for the elderly itself. Regular updates on the senior user’s well-being can be requested via the application. The list information includes the current location of the person thanks to satellite tracking, the remaining battery life of the help button, and the pre-planned daily activities. In an emergency, GreatCall Link instantly notifies the family members right after the help button was pushed, so they can rush to aid their loved one.
Philips Lifeline: A Medical Alert System in Your Hands
The Lifeline Response App – provided by Philips Lifeline – seems to be quite similar to a standalone medical alert app. There are two key differences: first, the software is designed to imitate the one-button design of the emergency pendant, sporting one large circle on the screen, which contacts the Philip Lifeline monitoring center when touched. After connecting an operator, the process follows the same steps as in the case of a regular system. The other difference is that the users of this software must still pay a monthly subscription fee. You should note that the amount is reduced compared to the traditional medical alert system plan the company offers, and the user of the mobile app is entitled for all the other benefits of the service.
Standalone Medical Alert Apps
iMedAlert is a smartphone version of a medical alert service available for free for iOS and Android systems. The software is a great way to speed up the process of informing 911 dispatchers about the person’s medical history. The app has three functions: initiating a custom emergency call, texting medical data and performing an alarm to raise the surrounding’s awareness. The number dialed by the software can be set by the user. This is also true for the texted information package, containing personal information, hospital connections, the blood type, allergies and required medication. All these can be forwarded to the emergency services to ensure they arrive prepared.
Unlike iMedAlert, ManDown App has a one-time fee that must be paid to access the application. The software makes up for the initial fee with an extended list of features. The application presents the user an option to create an emergency contact list, containing the email addresses or phone numbers of family members or colleagues. When an emergency occurs, the app sends a rescue notification for all the contacts, coupled with the user’s GPS coordinates. The software has a unique “fall detection” feature too: after activation, it regularly checks the position of the individual. If the user hasn’t been moving for at least a minute, it automatically sends out a distress call.
Medical Alert Systems vs Medical Alert Apps
As stated earlier, many doubt the necessity of a medical alert equipment package, complete with a help button and a stogy console that takes up space in the house. On the other hand, smartphones are multifunctional, always at hand, and people are familiar with their usage. But keep in mind: smartphones might be the future, but we are living in the present where most elderly are still averse from switching their old-fashioned phone in favor of such a complicated “piddling”. From their perspective, medical alert systems are designed to remind them of the landline telephones, and they are handled the same way.
Furthermore, utilizing a smartphone for contacting 911 is only smooth in theory. But in a true emergency – when someone is seriously injured, having a heart attack or experiencing a seizure – pushing a single button is always faster and easier than running the fingers on an overly sensitive touchscreen. In addition, smartphones tend to lose their battery power really quickly, while emergency buttons are functional for years.
Medical alert applications have their expediency too. Instead of seniors, we recommend them for the younger users who have a long list of medical history or serious symptoms the emergency personnel must know about. A confident smartphone wizard is able to efficiently share this information with the 911 services, saving precious time and energy. Subscribing to such an application is also drastically cheaper, usually involving a small one-time fee, thus it is worth to give it a try.
Hold Your Safety in Your Hands
Although both of the medical alert systems and the medical alert apps are useful and might contribute to someone’s safety, the two services aren’t interchangeable. While a medical alert system costs more on the longer run, the professional monitoring service and alert equipment were designed by industry experts to efficiently cover any kind of medical issue. On the other hand, medical alert apps are cheap, and make use of the smartphone’s GPS system, but they only give a minor support during an emergency call, and the person still has to perform different tasks to summon appropriate help. It is recommended to combine the two options, and have the smartphone app as a last resort.