What is a Medical Alert System, and How Does It Work?

Updated on January 24, 2022

Medical alert systems are vital safety devices that the elderly, people with disabilities, and incapacitated individuals use to alert their caregivers in an emergency. In most cases, it is the older adults who use this personal emergency response system when they require assistance. The devices enable you to stay informed of your elderly family members even when you are physically far from them. It also allows seniors experiencing falls or other individuals with medical conditions their independence since they can request assistance from the touch of a button.

How Does the System Work?

These devices are simple and easy to use. They are a combination of a communication device connected to a computer. There are several types of alert systems. There are those installed at home, otherwise known as in-home alert systems and portable devices that you can wear as watches or around your neck when you leave your homes. All the devices are connected to a central unit that receives real time information in case of an emergency.

The in-house alert system consists of a console and a pendant. This pendant has a button that you press in case of an emergency. The console is the communication device connected to a base unit that monitors the user around the clock. In case of an emergency, all you need to do is quickly press the button on the pendant. The console alerts the base unit, alerting medical response units to come to your assistance.

As a caretaker, you can connect the alert system to your smartphone and remotely monitor your loved ones. When they press the emergency button, you immediately receive an alert. You can then take action or alert responsible parties to provide the necessary assistance.

Mobile Alert Devices

Medical alert systems do not confine you to your home. Various companies have developed mobile solutions that give you the freedom to venture around and still be safe. These devices use GPS tracking technology connected to cellular networks. The devices might seem intrusive to your privacy but are necessary if you experience falls or if you ail from a serious medical condition that you could need emergency attention at any time. The good thing is that the response units can only see your location if you press the distress button. That means you cannot have people following you without your consent.

However, some trackers monitor your movement without you having to press the emergency button. These devices are specially made for individuals with dementia. If you wander too far from your home and forget your way back, the response team can easily track you using your device and bring you to safety. Such devices are also ideal for children if you want to monitor them without having to keep an eye on them. If they get too adventurous and get lost, you can always trace them back quickly.  

Fall alerts are particularly vital in these alert systems. Falls, trips, and slips are among the leading causes of injuries and hospitalization in older people. Therefore, it is crucial to have a fall detection feature in the alert systems. The systems contain intelligent sensors that detect any sudden movement. If you fall, the sensors immediately send an alert to the base unit, which can then alert medical emergency personnel to assist you.

All pendants, whether in-house or mobile, feature rechargeable batteries that ensure the device is running at all times. Most can keep the charge for hundreds of hours. You can go for hikes and other outdoor activities without worrying about your medical issues with such a feature.

Benefits of Medical Alert Systems

Allows Freedom and Autonomy

Medical alert systems are lifesavers. Without such devices, many people, especially the seniors, would be overly dependent, making their lives difficult and sad. The alert systems allow such individuals to go about their daily lives without worrying since they know they will receive assistance when they need it. The alert system will enable them to have both independence and peace of mind.

They are Customizable

Most medical alert systems are customizable. This means that you can tweak them to fit your lifestyle and daily activities. If you like swimming, there are waterproof devices that your caretakers can track while you are in the water. Irrespective of the activities you choose to take, you can do so knowing that you will get assistance if anything happens to you. Living with such peace of mind helps improve the quality of your life as a senior. 

The Editorial Team at Healthcare Business Today is made up of skilled healthcare writers and experts, led by our managing editor, Daniel Casciato, who has over 25 years of experience in healthcare writing. Since 1998, we have produced compelling and informative content for numerous publications, establishing ourselves as a trusted resource for health and wellness information. We offer readers access to fresh health, medicine, science, and technology developments and the latest in patient news, emphasizing how these developments affect our lives.