As with most medical alert companies we've reviewed, Medical Guardian has the same standard offerings: a basic landline in-home system called “Classic Guardian”, a cellular in-home system called “Home Guardian”, and two mobile packages, the Active Guardian and Mobile Guardian. Each of these systems is manufactured by other companies and repackaged with the Medical Guardian logo. This is not unique, as most medical alert companies do the same.
In our Medical Guardian review, we look at how the addition of the Medical Guardian Freedom, a smartwatch, and the Family Guardian, a caretaker tracking system, make Medical Guardian one of the best choices on the market.
Medical alert systems
As mentioned, Medical Guardian has more options than the typical medical alert service. Here’s breakdown of the medical alert systems:
Classic Guardian: An in-home landline system. In our tests, the wireless pendant had the longest range of any system we tested. That said, range isn’t always a good thing. The further you are from the base station, the less likely you are to communicate with emergency responders effectively. That said, this is their most affordable option.
Home Guardian: An in-home system that relies on a cellular network. It’s the very common Mobilehelp CBS5 system, which has the best speaker quality of any medical alert system we’ve tested. While many other medical alert systems have speakers that clip and distort, making it difficult to communicate with emergency responders, the Mobilehelp CBS5’s speaker has the ideal setup for clear, yet loud audio.
Mobile Guardian: This is their most reliable mobile unit, though they don’t say why. It includes GPS location tracking, making it easier and faster for EMTs to find you..
Active Guardian: Another mobile system, the Active Guardian includes GPS and Wi-Fi location tracking, providing a more accurate view of where you are when you need help.
Family Guardian: A unique medical alert system designed to track your loved one’s activity. It uses motion detectors to track the activity and sends the information to a desktop or smartphone app. It’s ideal for families with a frail loved one or a family caring for someone with dementia.
Freedom Guardian: The most excited, and perhaps the best medical alert system on the market, the Freedom Guardian is a medical alert smartwatch. Unlike most smartwatches, it doesn’t need to connect to a smartphone, as it has cellular capabilities. The audio quality and volume is surprisingly excellent for such a small device. It calls for help, has text-to-speech capabilities, and other apps, like a weather forecast app. We like that it’s not has complicated as other smartwatches, making it easy to use even if you’re unfamiliar with smartwatches or smartphones, but it offers more value than just a safety net. And the fact it doesn’t look like a medical alert system makes it one of the most appealing systems for many seniors.
Emergency response center
In our tests, Medical Guardian answered emergency calls for help in less than 30 seconds, on average. This was twice as fast as most services. Medical Guardian has proved time and again to have one of the fastest emergency response times among the companies we’ve tested. And while it’s never been the fastest, it was consistently the second fastest in every round of testing. While this is owed more to the call center they are partnered with than Medical Guardian, it’s still great to know Medical Guardian is partnered with a high-quality call center.
In addition to testing the emergency response speed, we also evaluated the quality of the calls. And again, this has much more to do with the call center partnered with Medical Guardian, but every call was consistently excellent. While some emergency response centers had inconsistent scripts and bored operators, we never had any issue with Medical Guardian. Sure, the operator’s followed a consistent script, but it’s effective and they sounded genuine. They made sure to ask if we needed help more than once and they confirmed our identity, a minor yet effective security measure.
Medical alert service
Medical Guardian prides itself on its “Client Support,” which is how the company has branded the department. And while the customer support is excellent, we feel like the marketing might be too aggressive. Now, there's nothing wrong with aggressive marketing, unless it borders on manipulation. Medical Guardian hasn't reached that point, but visiting the site can feel overwhelming.
For example, we took the risk-assessment test, which allows a “safety specialist” or third-party consultant to call you. In reality, we were called by a sale representative. Either way, despite answered all of the questions with answers that would indicate no risk—we don't live alone, 25 years old, 0 falls in the past year, 0 medical issues, 0 medications, very active with regular exercise, no need for mobility assistance—the representative still recommended we purchase the Classic Guardian. We'd have preferred the assessment to say something like, “Congratulations! You don't need a medical alert system.”
At first glance, Medical Guardian seems like just any other medical alert company. It offers the same three packages of in-home and mobile systems made by the same manufacturers that many other medical alert company uses. However, with the addition of the Freedom Guardian smartwatch and the Family Guardian activity tracking system, Medical Guardian has set itself apart from the others.
When you combine the options with excellent performance, it's hard not choose Medical Guardian. While the pricing isn't the most affordable, it's not expensive. And when you consider the call response time is among the fastest, it's clear why we ranked Medical Guardian as one of the best medical alert systems available.