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What are Medical Alert Systems?

Medical alert systems are life saving devices. They prove helpful during an in home emergency. These are electronic wireless devices worn on your body to alert friends, family and doctors in case of any medical emergency. These are helpful for people who live alone and are suffering from cardiovascular and other debilitating diseases. A small waterproof transmitter is attached to the existing phone line. These are worn around the neck or on the wrist. At the time of emergency the transmitter can be pressed which sends a signal to a in home base unit which signals a call center were it is answered by a operator who asks some questions and provides the appropriate help. If the operator cannot   make contact he will immediately contact medical emergency personnel.   If the operator cannot make contact he contacts anyone from the list of contacts which has to be provided in advance.

Even if a doctor prescribes for the medical alert system, it is not covered by the Medicare. However with the help of a program some states are providing alert systems to the Medicare beneficiaries on some specific payment criteria.

Medical alert companies offer a variety of features for their equipment. Features can include:

·                     The displays and illumination are easy to read.

·                     It provides Braille lettering.

·                     LED indicators for power and alarm status.

·                     Remote telephone answering capabilities, which allows you to answer and disconnect regular phone calls using your transmitter

·                     Backup power so that it will operate in event of a power outage

Types of services available include:

·                     Fall monitoring: This involves the use of a transmitter that detects falls, abnormal body movements, and/or extended periods of inactivity. When a fall or an unusual period of inactivity occurs, the system will automatically summon assistance. These special transmitters also have a button where the user can call for help manually.

·                     Call check-in: With this service a live operator will attempt to contact you via telephone at certain times during the day. When contact cannot be made in a specified time, your designated contacts will be notified


The choice of medical alert systems will depend on some particular situations, budget and needs. Following questions can be asked before selecting a medical alert system;

·         Is the service’s call center is owned by the equipment supplier or subcontracted to anyone?

·         Does the call centre handles medical emergencies appropriately and urgently?

·         Does the call center handle more than medical emergencies (home alarms, etc)?

·         Are the phone operators trained and certified and who does the training?

·         What are the hours of operation for the call center?

·         How does the call center ensure 100% uptime?

·         Does a live operator answer all calls? If not, in what circumstances would a call go to voicemail?

·         How does the call center handle your personal confidential medical information?

Other things to consider:

·                     Cost: There are two costs to medical alert services: the upfront equipment costs and the monthly service fees. Some companies charge activation or installation fees. The monthly service is the largest cost over time. Ask about payment options and contractual commitments.

Warranty/Service: When comparing medical alert companies, find out if there is a refund policy, in case you are not satisfied with the service. Also, find out how the base unit and transmitter are serviced and maintained, as well as how they are replaced in the event they break or are lost.

Why Medical Alert Systems?

You need not worry about your loved ones when you are far away from them. Your loved ones are safe because they are with medical alert systems. They can call for an immediate help 24 hours, whenever they require them.

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