Medical Guardian Review for 2022
- The Medical Guardian alert system line includes both in-home systems and mobile medical alert devices.
- Medical Guardian partners with U.S.-based response centers to provide 24/7 monitoring.
- MyGuardian app includes medication and appointment reminders and chat features between caregivers.
- Voice-activated, wall-mounted alert buttons can assist in an emergency when the user can speak but may not be able to move.
- Fall detection technology costs an additional $10 per month.
- Medical Guardian system operators can relay information about medications, preferred hospitals, or conditions to medical professionals.
- Optional lockbox gives EMTs easy entry into the home.
- Devices integrate GPS, 4G LTE, and Wi-Fi technology for uninterrupted location monitoring.
Why You Can Trust Our Expert Review
Our experts independently research and recommend products we believe provide value in the lives of our readers. We’ve spent collectively more than 1,700 hours conducting in-depth research on medical alert systems. Our team tested multiple medical alert devices, including Medical Guardian, to better understand features and provide the most accurate feedback and recommendations for our readers.
To choose make our top picks, we:
- Engaged in ongoing independent research
- Consulted with geriatricians and adult caregivers
- Mystery shopped the brands
- Surveyed medical alert system users
- Tested various medical alert systems
- Interviewed experts in the field
- Read hundreds of verified customer reviews from trusted third parties such as Better Business Bureau and Consumer Reports
Why Medical Guardian Alert System Is One of Our Top Picks
Medical Guardian is one of our top picks for best medical alert systems for its variety of at-home and on-the-go devices for seniors, its impressive device ranges (one of the highest in the industry), and its long battery life. The company also differentiates itself from competing medical alert providers due to its overall high customer reviews and TMA Five Diamond certified monitoring center.
Our team awarded Medical Guardian a 9.57/10 overall rating based on essential features, functionality, special features, customer service, and the purchasing process. It was the second-highest scoring medical alert system on our list of the 11 brands we tested, following front-runner Bay Alarm Medical.
Medical Guardian Pros and Cons
- Alert buttons are water-resistant so they can be worn in high-risk, slippery areas like the shower.
- Its response center meets rigorous guidelines for TMA Five Diamond Certification.
- It uses 4G LTE, GPS, Wi-Fi, or a landline.
- It has thousands of positive customer reviews on third-party review websites and an A+ rating with the Better Business Bureau.
- Backup batteries keep at-home devices running in the event of a power outage.
- There is free activation, installation, and almost no extra fees (aside from the Mini-Guardian and MGMove’s one-time equipment fees).
- Fall detection is only included at an extra cost of $10 per month.
- The Mini Guardian has a one-time equipment fee of $124.95.
- The lockbox is an extra $2.99 per month.
- Contracts are month-to-month after a three-month minimum commitment.
- If the system is damaged, you may need to pay a $350 damaged equipment fee.
Comparison of Medical Guardian Models
|Model||Monthly Cost||One-Time Equipment Fee||Battery life||Home Range||Wearability||At-Home or On-the-Go||Fall Detection Available?|
|MGMove||$39.95||$199.95||7 days||Mobile coverage||Belt clip, neck pendant||On-the-go|
|Mini Guardian||$39.95||$124.95||5 days||Mobile coverage||Belt clip, neck pendant||On-the-go|
|Mobile 2.0||$39.95||$124.95||5 days||Mobile coverage||Belt clip, neck pendant, wristband||On-the-go|
|Classic Guardian||$29.95||$0||32-hour backup battery (in case of power outage)||Up to 1,300 feet||Wristband, neck pendant||At-home|
|Home 2.0||$34.95||$124.95||32-hour backup battery (in case of power outage)||Up to 1,400 feet||Wristband, neck pendant||At-home|
The Medical Guardian line includes three on-the-go models: the Mini Guardian, Mobile 2.0, and the MGMove Smartwatch, along with two Home Guardian options: the Classic Guardian and Home 2.0.
The Mini Guardian packs a lot of power in its small package, and its long-lasting battery can run five days before needing a recharge. It’s similar to the recently discontinued Active Guardian model but even more compact.
Users can clip the lightweight Mini onto a lanyard or directly onto their clothing, then forget about the device until they need it. This device can be worn everywhere as it runs on 4G technology, so you aren’t tied to your home base to remain protected.
When activated, the device opens two-way communication with a 24/7 emergency response operator who will know just where to find you through the GPS locator. Clear audio is important in an emergency, so the device is equipped with a high-definition speaker and noise cancellation technology. The Mini Guardian costs $39.95 per month and includes a one-time equipment fee of $124.95.
The Mobile 2.0 includes access to MyGuardian, a program that notifies your contacts or Care Circle about emergencies. This simplifies communication between seniors’ caregivers and emergency services to keep everyone in the loop. The Mobile Guardian 2.0 uses GPS, Wi-Fi, and 4G LTE to monitor your location and safety.
This lightweight system works as a base station paired with a help button, easily clipped to clothing or a bag or worn around the neck or wrist. At only 1.7 ounces, it’s not bulky or awkward. The battery charge lasts three to five days, so you won’t have to think twice about longer excursions or day trips. Mobile 2.0 subscribers pay $49.95 for this service.
Medical Guardian discontinued the Freedom Guardian 2.0 smartwatch and introduced the MGMove smartwatch. You don’t have to be tech-savvy to use this simple touchscreen smartwatch. The new model is sleeker than the Freedom Guardian 2.0 and has a more attractive, user-friendly screen.
The MGMove has a built-in weather app and step tracker. Medication and appointment reminders as well as talk-to-text messaging with your loved ones and caregivers are available for an additional $5 per month.
You can communicate with the monitoring center through a high-definition two-way speaker. When you press and hold the red SOS button on the side of the watch face or press the SOS touchscreen app, the 24/7 emergency team can summon EMTs, mental health professionals, or even a family member to check in. The watch is equipped with location monitoring through GPS and Wi-Fi, so seniors can do their daily errands knowing their safety is monitored. The MGMove is $39.95 for the monthly subscription, with a one-time equipment fee of $199.95.
For users who like to remain close to home—or those who live in areas with poor Wi-Fi or cell service—the Classic Guardian may be the best choice, at $29.95 per month. This at-home alert system uses a base station connected through your landline, and it monitors the user, who wears a help button paired with the base station. Users can wear the device around their neck or wrist and move about the property, confident that they are covered by a radius of up to 1,300 feet—more than three football fields.
The Home 2.0 adds another 100 feet of protection for a 1,400-foot range. This system also adds on a 32-hour backup battery in a power outage. Its pendant snaps easily into either the necklace or wristband, so the wearer can choose the most comfortable style for that day’s activities. The Home 2.0 also has the option to share with a partner. Add multiple wearable buttons to your subscription and keep your caregivers in contact with your whole household.
Additionally, the Home 2.0 is equipped with voice-assist technology; users simply push a button on the base unit to access daily reports and information about the device. Users pay $34.95 for the Home 2.0 (considered an upgrade from the Classic system).
How Much Does a Medical Guardian Device Cost?
Depending on a customer’s package, Medical Guardian pricing breaks down to about $0.97 to $1.35 a day. There are no extra fees except in the case of the Mini Guardian, which requires a one-time equipment fee of $124.95, and the MGMove smartwatch, which requires a one-time equipment fee of $199.95.
When choosing your device subscription, you can pay on a monthly, quarterly, semiannual, or annual basis. However, by paying annually, you’re given a discount on the overall cost. If you know you’ll use the device for at least one year and you’re keen on saving money, paying annually is the most cost-effective option.
While Medical Guardian does offer month-to-month contracts, users must first meet a three-month minimum. Other than this initial commitment, there are no long-term contracts. Refunds are also available for undamaged equipment; however, equipment loss and damage could result in a $350 fee. Some customers opt for a protection plan for an additional $6.99 a month to insure their Medical Guardian products.
Savvy shoppers should look for promotions and discounts from medical alert providers. Occasionally, Medical Guardian has special offers for new customers, like a complimentary lockbox or the first month of service free.
Medicare Parts A and B do not offer coverage for medical alert services, but Medicare Part C and some private insurance companies do sometimes offer coverage. We suggest inquiring with your insurance provider to see if your policy reimburses some portion of your medical alert costs.
The Medical Guardian App and Accessories
- MyGuardian App: Made with caregivers in mind, the MyGuardian app keeps your Care Circle in the loop in case of emergency and helps with the daily tasks of caring for an aging loved one. Within the platform, app users can monitor their loved one, chat with other caregivers, manage tasks, and create medication reminders. The care information about the user in the app can be passed along to medical professionals for more informed treatment in an emergency. For those who live farther away from their loved ones, this app can help them be a more active caregiver.
- Lockbox: The Medical Guardian lockbox is an extra $2.99 a month. In an emergency where the medical alert wearer cannot open/unlock the door, the medical response team is able to give EMTs your lockbox code. This prevents damage to entryways if EMTs need to gain access. Some other medical alert companies offer lockboxes at a set price, which may save money in the long term, but Medical Guardian offers only a monthly option.
- Wall-mounted alert buttons: For extra protection at home, wall-mounted alert buttons can be placed in high-risk or high-traffic areas. Customers can add these buttons for an extra $2 per month, per wall button. Voice-activated emergency buttons, which are alerted to the phrase “Call Medical Guardian,” can provide extra peace of mind, protecting loved ones in a situation where they can’t reach the help button. However, voice-activated technology is only available with the Classic Guardian and costs an extra $5 per month, per button.
Customer Service and Satisfaction
Medical Guardian is one of the largest manufacturers of medical alerts and is consistently ranked among the best medical alert companies. It has strong customer reviews for both its products and customer support. The company has received an A+ rating from the Better Business Bureau and 4.5/5 stars from Best Company.
On Trustpilot, where Medical Guardian has only 1.3 stars, reviews reveal mixed experiences with the brand. Of these negative reviews, we noticed numerous complaints about customer service and frustrations with refunds and replacements. We include this range of reviews to give a full and realistic picture of the company.
While 25 percent of Medical Guardian reviews on Trustpilot were “bad” to “fair,” 75 percent were “great” to “excellent.” Despite the positive reviews, Trustpilot ratings aren’t simply an average of all reviews. The consumer review site also takes into account age and number of reviews, and whether the company actively solicits customers to leave reviews.
The quality of Medical Guardian’s partner response center is undisputed. The emergency monitoring center has earned the highest marks with the TMA-Five Diamond Certification, and their staff undergoes intensive training. The US-based team uses translation services to speak to users in most major languages using a third-party translation service. Customers report that, even when summoned accidentally, the highly professional response teams are warm and helpful.
Comparing Medical Guardian to Other Brands
|Medical Alert Brand||Cost (per month)||Special Features||Home Range|
|Medical Guardian||$29.95–$49.95||Water-resistant; $2.99 monthly lockbox; free spouse monitoring after second pendant; WiFi and GPS tracking; $10 monthly fall detection||Up to 1,400 feet|
|Life Alert||$49.95–$88.90||Water-resistant; 72-hour backup battery; wall-mounted button for shower; spouse monitoring||Up to 800 feet|
|MobileHelp||$19.95–$41.95||Water-resistant; power outage backup batteries; no equipment fees; lockbox free with most plans; tracking app; $10 monthly fall detection||Up to 1,400 feet|
|Bay Alarm Medical||$19.95–$39.95||Water-resistant; lifetime rate guarantee; 4G LTE network; Bella Charms to accessorize your necklace pendant; $10 monthly fall detection||Up to 1,000 feet|
What to Consider Before Buying a Medical Alert System
Seniors looking to age in place can use technology to create a safer home for themselves and peace of mind for their caregivers. A medical alert system shopper should consider how their lifestyle influences the features they need in a device. Users who are active and like the freedom to move about their town/city should opt for an on-the-go device like the Mini Guardian or Mobile 2.0, which supports users with Wi-Fi, 4G LTE, and GPS technology. If you or your loved one want peace of mind and independence, these systems offer that flexibility.
Potential buyers should also consider their connectivity. People who live in rural areas or places with poor cell reception will want a system that connects to the monitoring center via a stable landline.
Some shoppers may be looking for a medical alert for a loved one who may not reliably wear or charge a pendant. For these situations, consider a system like the Medical Guardian voice-activated, wall mounted buttons. LifeFone, Get Safe, Medical Care Alert, and Apple Watch also have voice-activated systems.
Finally, think about your health and potential medical risks. Dr. Brandy Archie, an occupational therapist in Kansas City, Missouri, with a focus on senior home health and aging in place, explains, “Fall detection is an important feature if you live alone and especially if memory or cognition are a concern.” These devices automatically contact emergency services even if you’re unable to summon help yourself. Medical Guardian, Bay Alarm Medical, and Medical Alert add fall detection service for $10 a month. LifeFone offers fall protection for just $5 per month.
The CDC has found that one in five falls leads to serious injury; medical alert systems are a good fall detection tool for those who want to minimize risks to their independence.
Medical Guardian Customer Reviews
“My mother fell while outside and someone contacted her immediately and offered to call me or 911. She was ok so she thanked them and told them there was no need to call anyone, but she was very impressed by the fast and considerate service. I am reassured that I did the right thing by purchasing the fall detection service for her. I highly recommend this service.
— D. LEHMAN, VERIFIED CUSTOMER (REVIEW FROM TRUSTPILOT.COM)
“The product is fine but the customer service is terrible. It took 3 weeks for the company to acknowledge a return. The return was received, a credit was issued and then I was billed again in 3 weeks. I would not do business with Medical Guardian again.”
— JOEL, VERIFIED CUSTOMER (REVIEW FROM TRUSTPILOT.COM)
“I just ordered Medical Guardian for my grandmother. It couldn’t have been an easier process. They had online chat so I could ask all my questions quietly at work, and then when it came time to order I just had to call really quickly with my credit card. I haven’t received the unit yet, but if it’s as good as their customer service I will be really happy. Plus, you can’t beat the price!”
— CARY, VERIFIED CUSTOMER (REVIEW FROM TRUSTPILOT.COM)
How we reviewed Medical Guardian
You deserve the best products for a better quality of life. As such, we strive to create honest, helpful reviews that are backed by firsthand shopping, testing, and research. Our content is medically reviewed and unbiased to help you choose the right medical alert system for you or your loved one.
From over 1,000 hours of research, we choose 11 of the top brands that we believe are the best medical alert systems. Medical Guardian is one of our top medical alert system picks. We did the following throughout our research process:
- Consulted with geriatricians and adult caregivers
- Mystery shopped the brands
- Surveyed medical alert system users
- Tested various medical alert systems
- Interviewed experts in the field
- Read hundreds of verified customer reviews from trusted third parties, such as Better Business Bureau (BBB) and Trustpilot
We grade each medical alert company against a 1-10 rating scale and score them according to the following categories:
- Essential features
- Product functionality
- Special features
- Customer service
- Purchasing process
Features and criteria within each of these five categories are assigned point values. The more points a company receives for each criteria, the higher they score in the overall category.
See our full explanation of how we rate medical alert systems for a full breakdown of criteria in each category and our scoring system.
What cell carrier does Medical Guardian use?
Medical Guardian operates on the AT&T cellular network. However, you don’t have to add this service to an existing AT&T plan—Medical Guardian systems work independently from a cell or internet account. Your medical alert subscription includes a connection to monitoring centers through the AT&T wireless network.
How much does Medical Guardian cost?
Depending on a customer’s package, Medical Guardian pricing breaks down to about $0.97 to $1.35 a day. There are no extra fees except in the case of the Mini Guardian, which requires a one-time equipment fee of $124.95.
Is Medical Guardian legitimate?
Medical Guardian is a legitimate provider of at-home medical alert systems for several reasons. It has Five Diamond Certification from The Monitoring Association (TMA). Several thousand customers have left positive reviews of the product. Medical Guardian has an A+ rating from the BBB and a 4.5-star rating from Best Company. Its U.S.-based response teams are highly professional and can speak with users in various languages.
Is Medical Guardian covered by Medicare?
Medical Guardian is not covered by Medicare Parts A and B, but some Part C plans (“Medicare Advantage”) offer partial coverage of medical alert devices. To confirm coverage, inquire with your provider, as Part C insurance varies based on your plan and where you live.
Is Medical Guardian waterproof?
Medical Guardian’s wearable help buttons such as necklaces, wristbands, lanyards, and smartwatches are water-resistant. Water-resistant devices can get wet from activities such as showering and washing dishes. Unlike waterproof devices, they shouldn’t be fully submerged in water for long periods of time.
How long do Medical Guardian batteries last?
Medical Guardian’s alert systems generally have a long battery, but the battery life will vary depending on which model you use. For instance, the batteries for the Mini Guardian and Mobile 2.0 models last five days. The MGMove smartwatch battery lasts up to 24 hours. The Classic Guardian and the Home 2.0 models offer a 32-hour backup battery for power outages.