What are Medical Alert Systems and How to Pick the Best Medical Alert System
A medical alert system is a system designed to detect medical emergencies and alert the appropriate personnel, including medical staff, caregivers and family. It is also known as a personal emergency system (PERS) or a medical emergency response system (MERS).
Who is it for?
A medical alert system is for anyone who is predisposed and vulnerable to getting injured because of an existing health condition. An individual who resides alone and does not have family, friends or anyone who can monitor them staying close by, is the ideal candidate to purchase such a device. According to Alert1, 85% of the emergency calls they received were from senior members.
So senior citizens make up a massive portion of the market share that requires and use medical alert systems. However, 13% of Alert1’s members are below retirement age. The age group they cater to is 8 to 80 years. Typically buyers of alert systems are people who suffer from diabetes, hypertension, Alzheimer's, Parkinson's, visual and other impairment, etc.
Why is it essential?
In the U.S., The Center for Disease Control (CDC) statistics state that three million citizens are sent to emergency rooms every year because of injuries sustained due to falling. Also one out of every five senior citizens sustain fractures or head injuries caused due to falling. Further, 95% of fractured hips are a result of falling, and again, falling is also the main cause of brain injuries. You can see why most companies market their medical alert systems with this main reason in mind. Falling beside, many medications have side effects like drowsiness or dizziness that in turn leaves the patient impaired. There could be countless other reasons that could lead to an emergency.
So most systems are designed to help in other scenarios as well. For example, in the case of a fire in your residence, you can contact the fire department. More advanced devices can even detect higher levels of smoke or carbon dioxide in your home. In the event of a break in or any other unsettling activity happening in or around your property, you can call the police.
Some systems even have beacons and motion sensors to monitor inactivity. If the person is unusually inactive, an alert is raised. Also, some devices also send you medication reminders and track your vital signs, number of steps taken and overall fitness. Certain types of systems even facilitate a wellness check-in service on a day to day basis, either on call or electronically. If you are independently mobile and your phone has GPS tracking, in the case of an emergency, help will be on its way.
How to Pick the Best Medical Alert System
The below features will help you choose the best medical alert system for you. Companies offered most of the below features but based on price; some brands offer more than others.
Signal Range – Most systems function through cellphone or landline service. Cellular services operate anywhere there is cellular coverage. Landlines, on the other hand, covers a range from approximately 400 to 1000 feet. So this service might not include your entire house, in and out.
24 Hour Live Assistance – The most efficient systems are the ones that offer assistance 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.
User-friendly – Choose a device that is easy for you to use especially in an emergency.
Fall Detection – Inbuilt technology will detect when you fall and call for help. Alert system manufacturers guarantee that fall detection has an accuracy of 95%.
Water-Resistance or Waterproof – Accidents in the shower are very common so ensure you purchase a system that is water resistant or better still 100% waterproof.
Comfort – To be most effective, a device will need to be worn all the time, so choose one that you are most comfortable with. They can be worn as a necklace, pendant, bracelet, wristband or a watch.
Long Battery Life –The battery life of most devices last anywhere from a week to one month, before having to be recharged. A few need to be recharged every day though. To pick the option that works best for you, check the average battery life. It's pointless having an alert system if it’s dead.
GPS Tracking – It is one of the most recent upgrades to alert systems. If the system offers GPS tracking in the case of an emergency, help is always on its way, where ever you are.
Risk-Free Trail – Most risk-free trials come with a guarantee of money back in case you return the device. Trying out a system before you buy it will ensure you choose the best one for you.