COVID-19 Update: Since the medical alert industry is considered to be “essential” during the COVID crisis, monitoring and customer service centers are still open and ready to help. To learn more about how a medical alert device can help keep you or your elderly loved one safe and connected during this pandemic, take a look at our list of essential products for seniors during COVID-19.

Getting older shouldn’t mean sacrificing on safety or independence, and thanks to the growing number of medical alert systems on the market, subscribing to a monitored help button service is easy and affordable. Seniors and their loved ones now have dozens of options when it comes to picking a monitored personal emergency response system that instantly connects to a 24/7 emergency call center via a wearable help button.

In this article we take an in-depth look at the Active Guardian medical alert system from Medical Guardian. Below you’ll find information about the Active Guardian device along with a breakdown of the monitoring costs, optional features and the pros and cons of this monitored help button system.

What is the Active Guardian?

The Active Guardian is an all-in-one mobile monitored medical alert device offered by Medical Guardian, a Florida-based medical alert company. It connects to the AT&T nationwide cellular network to provide users with nationwide access to Medical Guardian’s 24/7 emergency call monitoring center.

The unit calls the Medical Guardian monitoring center when an Active Guardian user presses the raised help button on the front of their medical alert device. An operator then initiates a two-way conversation with the caller through the built-in microphone and speaker to determine what kind of assistance is required. If the caller is unable to respond, the operator dispatches emergency services right away.

Active Guardian Medical Alert System Features

In addition to the built-in cellular SIM card, microphone and speaker, the Active Guardian is equipped with Wi-Fi and GPS location technology that provides the monitoring center with real-time information about the users’ location. In an emergency, an operator relays this location information to the police, medics or fire department to ensure help arrives as soon as possible.

The Active Guardian device weighs 2.3 ounces and is 2.9-inches long, which is notably larger and heavier than most in-home help buttons but comfortable enough to wear on a lanyard. It’s water resistant and safe to wear in the shower, and the built-in battery lasts up to five days between charges, making it one of the longest-lasting mobile help button devices on the market.

Automatic fall detection, a feature that uses built-in sensors to identify when an Active Guardian user suffers a sudden fall, triggers a call to the monitoring center, and it’s available for an extra $10 per month. Although no fall-detection system is 100% accurate, this feature may be valuable to those who are at an increased risk of falling and losing consciousness.

Medical Guardian Care Circle

Medical Guardian recognizes that many subscribers may not want, or need, 9-1-1 services in every emergency situation, so the company lets users set up a personalized Care Circle.

Subscribers can include neighbors, caregivers and family members in their Care Circle. When the help button is activated, the Medical Guardian operator assesses the situation, and if appropriate, the operator alerts contacts in the Care Circle before first responders are dispatched. This option is ideal for noncritical situations, such as a subscriber being locked out of their home or needing help during a power outage.

Active Guardian Costs

Active Guardian monitoring fees include 24/7 access to the emergency call monitoring center and use of an Active Guardian medical alert device. Automatic fall detection can be added to any plan for $10 a month.

Although there are no long-term contracts, consumers can save on their monitoring costs by opting for a prepaid annual plan. Annual plans also include free ground shipping and a free PIN-protected lockbox, where subscribers can store a spare house key for use in an emergency.

Active Guardian Plans


Total Price


Per-Day Price


PIN-Protected Lockbox


Fall Detection


Free Ground Shipping


Monthly


$44.95


$1.45


+$2.99 per month


+$10 per month


No


Quarterly


$134.85


$1.45


+$2.99 per month


+$10 per month


No


Semiannual


$269.70


$1.45


Free


+$10 per month


Yes


Annual


$494.45


$1.35


Free


+$10 per month


Yes


Who Should Use the Active Guardian Medical Alert System?

The MobileHelp Active Guardian medical alert system provides near-limitless coverage nationwide, making it ideal for active seniors, people with disabilities and anyone else who needs an all-in-one GPS-enabled help button.

It’s important to note that Active Guardian users need to monitor the battery life on the unit and recharge it as needed, so this system may not be ideal for those living with memory loss.

Pros and Cons of the Active Guardian Medical Alert System

There are pros and cons with all medical alert systems, and it’s important to consider these when deciding which device is right for your particular needs.

Pros of Active Guardian:

  • Unlimited range at home and in the community nationwide
  • Help button uses Wi-Fi and GPS location technologies for accurate location tracking
  • Device can be worn in the shower or bath
  • The soft-touch help button is imprinted with braille
  • Device connects to the AT&T mobile network
  • Battery life rated for up to five days, which is significantly longer than other mobile medical alert devices
  • Wireless charging cradle means users simply place the help button on the cradle when the battery is low
  • No service contracts are needed
  • Users can cancel at any time and receive a prorated refund for any unused, prepaid services
  • Promotional offers and discounts are available from time to time
  • Automatic fall detection is available
  • The U.S.-based monitoring center is staffed by operators fluent in English and Spanish
  • Medical Guardian has an A+ rating with the Better Business Bureau

Cons of Active Guardian:

  • Users need to monitor the battery life on the device and recharge it regularly
  • The help button is larger and heavier than many other medical alert devices, and it cannot be worn on the wrist
  • The Active Guardian must be worn around the neck if the fall-detection feature is activated
  • Cancellations can take up to 30 days to process, and subscribers must pay shipping fees when returning their Active Guardian medical alert system

Active Guardian Medical Alert FAQs

Do I have to sign up for AT&T cell service to use the Active Guardian?

No.

The cost of the cellular service for the help button is included in the monitoring fees.

Is the Active Guardian safe for pacemaker patients?

The wireless signals used to power the Active Guardian medical alert button are the same signals used for cellular phones. Pacemaker patients should follow the instructions provided with their pacemaker when considering whether or not to subscribe to the Active Guardian.

Medical Guardian also advises that all customers consult with their physician before signing up for a medical alert service.

How will I know when the Active Guardian needs charging?

The Active Guardian comes with a user-rechargeable battery that’s rated to last up to five days; however, battery life is reduced in areas with weak cellular signals.

A small red LED at the front of the device flashes when the help button needs charging. Recharging the battery fully takes about three hours using the included cradle charger.

Can I add a second user to my Active Guardian medical alert plan?

No.

Because the Active Guardian is an all-in-one medical alert device, only one user can be on each Active Guardian plan. The Active Guardian help button is not compatible with other Medical Guardian pendants, wrist buttons or wall-mounted buttons.