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.

Medical alert systems provide emergency assistance and peace of mind to seniors and their families. These systems offer monitoring and alert capabilities and help seniors to maintain their independence. Users wear medical alert systems on the body and use them to alert loved ones and medical professionals whenever there’s a safety or medical concern that requires attention. Without these devices, many seniors could find themselves in vulnerable situations.

These systems continue to increase in popularity, and there are many medical alert systems and plans available on the market. Often, Medicaid or private insurance covers part or all of these systems’ expenses. When investing in a medical alert system for a loved one, it’s essential to choose a great brand and the right plan for their individual needs. Choosing the right medical alert system doesn’t have to be tricky.

This guide compares the RescueTouch and Alert1 medical alert systems. Both companies are well-known and have a variety of plans and devices available. While some features of these systems vary, they have similar monthly price points and similar styles of devices. Both companies also offer flexible payment plans.

Both companies are reputable, but RescueTouch is a good option for individuals who want fall detection included in the monthly price and for those who don’t want the hassle of expensive equipment rental fees. Individuals own the equipment outright, and it’s affordable. Alert1 is a good option for bilingual or multilingual seniors because support is available in 190 languages. It’s also a nice service for people who take a lot of medications because an Automatic Medication Dispenser and Organizer upgrade is available.

Category


Side-By-Side Comparison


RescueTouch


Alert1


COSTS






Up-Front Equipment


$0


$0



Monthly Monitoring





Family Monitored: $29 - $65


Professionally Monitored: $24 - $75





$25.95 - $58.95


Monthly rate based on quarterly payment plan



Activation Fee


$99 - $178


$0



Contract


Month-to-month


Month-to-month unavailable; plans can be canceled at any time



Optional Monthly Add-On Services


N/A


Automatic Medication Dispenser and Organizer - $149.95


Voice Extender - $99


Fall Protection Package - $200


Lockbox - $39.95


FEATURES






Water-Resistant Wearable Devices


Pendant and wristband


Pendant and wristband with temperature sensor



Connection


None


Landline or Cellular (AT&T and T-Mobile networks)



Two-Way Voice Communication


Yes


Yes; in all devices except In-the-Home



Range (from in-home base unit for landline service)


N/A


400-600 feet



Battery Life


Up to 2.5 days with GPS turned on


Up to 5 days with GPS turned off


Up to 30 days for the On-the-Go device


Up to 5 days for the On-the-Go Fall Detection device


24-hour battery backup for In-the-Home devices


FALL DETECTION, LOCATION and RESPONSE SERVICE






Fall Detection


Included with Family Response with Fall Detect, Chit Chat Twin Pack, The Whole Shabang! and Chit Chat Monitored Twin Pack


Included in devices with Fall Detection coverage



GPS Locator


Included in all devices except 9-1-1 Direct plan and device


Included in On-the-Go devices



Coverage Away From Home


Yes


Included with On-The-Go products



24/7 USA Call Center


Yes


Yes; service available in up to 190 languages


OPTIONAL ACCESSORIES



Automatic Medication Dispenser and Organizer, Lockbox, Wall-Mounted Button


Some models have a wristband-style option available


RescueTouch Overview

RescueTouch is a wearable device that can be purchased with or without monitoring services. Family members can quickly call and speak directly to the wearer through RescueTouch with the included VoiceConnect technology. Since it doesn’t require a phone line and serves as its own phone number, this device can be used at home or away from home.

For individuals who want an unmonitored (or family-monitored) device, Rescue Touch offers three levels of coverage:

  • The Family Response plan is unmonitored, and family and caregivers are notified when the wearer presses the emergency help button. With this plan, up to five people can be listed as emergency contacts.
  • The Family Response with Fall Detect plan includes the above features plus fall detection.
  • The Chit Chat Twin Pack is also unmonitored. This plan comes with two devices and allows two individuals to be monitored under one plan. These devices can be used as walkie-talkies, and fall detection is also included in this plan.

Professionally monitored plans are also available with the RescueTouch. These include:

  • The 9-1-1 Direct plan includes one device but doesn’t have GPS tracking. The plan includes 24/7 monitoring. This plan doesn’t contact family members; instead, it connects wearers directly to their local 911.
  • The Whole Shabang! is another monitored plan option that includes one wearable device and 24/7 monitoring. It also has all of the features of the Family Response with Fall Detect plan.
  • Finally, the Chit Chat Monitored Twin pack includes two wearable devices that are monitored 24/7. This plan also provides all of the features of the unmonitored Chit Chat Twin Pack plan.

There’s a one-time $99 fee for a single device and a $179 one-time fee for twin-plan devices.

Pros of RescueTouch

  • No lack of service coverage as the system works from any location
  • Showerproof, durable and lightweight mobile SOS pendants
  • Doesn’t require a home phone line to use
  • Unmonitored and monitored plans
  • Monthly, quarterly and annual payment plans

Cons of RescueTouch

  • One-time device purchase fee
  • No in-home device options — all are wearable

Alert1 Overview

Alert1 is a medical alert system with service available in all 50 states. The device works by contacting an emergency response team when the wearer presses a button during an emergency. An operator talks with the wearer and determines whether family members, friends or medical professionals should be notified. If the wearer is unable to speak, help will be offered right away.

Alert1 is an excellent option for non-English speakers or multilingual seniors because the system provides emergency assistance in over 190 languages. Various payment plans are available:

  • The In-the-Home system requires a land phone line and is great for seniors who are usually around the house. This system comes with a base station with a 24-hour backup battery and a range of 600 feet and one wearable, waterproof help device that can be worn as a pendant or a wristband.
  • The In-the-Home + Fall Detection plan is available through a cellular or landline connection. The system includes a base with a range of 400 feet and a 24-hour backup battery. The device is a waterproof, showerproof button that is worn as a pendant.
  • The On-the-Go plan is great for seniors who are more mobile and away from home a lot. This device includes a help button and a built-in two-way speaker. It can be used with AT&T or T-Mobile. The device itself is showerproof, and the battery lasts 30 days.
  • The On-the-Go + Fall Detection is available for those who want fall detection. Similar to the On-the-Go device, it’s showerproof and all-in-one. It also includes GPS and Wi-Fi location tracking and built-in automatic fall detection. The battery can last five days.
  • For those who want it all, the On-the-Go + In-the-Home + Fall Detection plan is an option to consider. This plan includes an in-home fall detection pendant and an in-home personal help button wristband. The devices for this plan use the AT&T cellular network and are waterproof.

Pros of Alert1

  • No activation fees and free shipping
  • Two U.S. call centers with service in 190 languages
  • Showerproof
  • Cancel at any time
  • GPS available on all but one device type

Cons of Alert1

  • Quarterly or annual payments only
  • In-home base units only have a range of 400-600 feet

Pricing Comparison

While service pricing is very similar for both companies, RescueTouch does require individuals to pay a one-time device fee, while Alert1 doesn’t have one-time activation or device fees. RescueTouch and Alert1 both offer discounted pricing for individuals who pay quarterly or yearly. One thing that some individuals may not like is Alert1 doesn’t have month-by-month contracts. A standout pricing benefit of the RescueTouch system is that fall detection is included in the monthly fees for devices that provide this service.

Our Pick

RescueTouch and Alert1 both provide similar services and devices. Both offer wearable devices that are showerproof. Both companies also have affordable monthly service prices.

RescueTouch and Alert1 are accredited through the Better Business Bureau. RescueTouch has an A+ rating, and Alert1 has an A- rating. It’s worth noting that Alert1 has more negative reviews.

Between these two companies, we choose RescueTouch because it offers both monitored and unmonitored plans, it has positive reviews, it doesn’t require a cell phone line, and it doesn’t charge an extra monthly fee for fall detection.

Compare More Medical Alert Systems

Click on the links below to read about Medical Alert system comparisons.