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 devices are mainstream safety devices for seniors. Advances in fall detection technology along with GPS tracking and innovative two-way voice connections are now built into small electronic devices, comfortably worn or carried all day. They reduce stress for seniors and their families who know help is available at the press of a button.

With many companies providing a broad range of emergency response devices and monitoring plans it can be difficult to sort through them all to make the best choice. GreatCall and RescueTouch are two companies with a strong presence in the medical alert systems market and both have produced a portable cellular medical alert device. This guide provides a side-by-side comparison of these two devices and their associated plans.

Category


Side By Side Comparison


RescueTouch


GreatCall Lively Mobile


COSTS






Up-Front Equipment


$99 - $178


Single devices cost $99


Twin pack can be purchased for $178


$49



Up-front Fees


$0


$0



Monthly Monitoring


$19.00 - $64.00


$24.99 – $39.99



Activation Fee


$0


$35



Contract


Month-to-month and can be cancelled at any time


Month-to-month



Optional Monthly Add-On Services


N/A


N/A



Cancellation Fees


None


80% of unused balance for service fees is refundable


No cancellation charges


$10 restocking fee applies



Shipping


Free priority shipping


Free ground shipping


FEATURES






Water-Resistant Wearable Devices


The device is water-resistant and can be worn in the shower


The Lively Mobile Plus is rated as waterproof



Connection


The cellular medical alert device uses AT&T's 4G LTE network


GreatCall uses the Verizon network



Two-way Voice Communication


VoiceConnect function allows operators or contacts to speak directly with the wearer


Activating alert button connects to operator for two-way voice communication



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


N/A as device is cellular


No landline service as device is cellular



Battery life


Battery life ranges from 2.5 days with GPS on, to five days with GPS off


Up to 80 hours standby – daily charging recommended



Trial Period


30-day free trial period


30-day free trial period


FALL DETECTION, LOCATION and RESPONSE SERVICE






Fall Detection


Basic plans in the family monitoring and professional monitoring streams do not include fall detection


Fall detection is available in the other four available plans


Fall detection is only available in the highest premium plan



GPS Locator


Five of the six RescueTouch plans have a GPS location feature


Device has GPS with a Wi-Fi positioning system



Coverage Away From Home


The device has unlimited cellular range – only restricted by AT&T network blackspots


The device works wherever Verizon network has coverage



24/7 USA Call Center


The professional monitoring plans get 24/7 service from a Utah based monitoring center


Urgent response agents are all US-based and a 24/7 service is provided


Multilingual support for over 100 languages


OPTIONAL ACCESSORIES







None


Lanyard


Belt clip


AC charger


Wristband


GreatCall Lively Mobile Plus Overview

Great Call was founded in 2005 by Arlene Harris and is headquartered in San Diego, California. The company produces several devices with medical alert capabilities. Their Lively Mobile device was released at the end of 2016 and was replaced with the Lively Mobile Plus device in April 2019.

The new model has improved functions and is supported by three plans: Basic, Preferred and Ultimate.

Pros of Great Lively Mobile Plus

  • U.S.-based company with extensive experience in cellular technologies
  • The device has GPS with Wi-Fi positioning system
  • Device can be worn in a variety of ways — belt, lanyard and wrist
  • Friends and family can be alerted when a 911 call has been made
  • Support for over 100 languages
  • No lock-in contracts – plans are month by month
  • Urgent response service provides 24/7 direct connection to nurse or doctor
  • Prescriptions can be obtained using the Lively Mobile Plus
  • GreatCall Link app lets caregivers monitor activity of the wearer via their mobile phones

Cons of Great Lively Mobile Plus

  • Up-front purchase cost of device at $49 plus $35 activation fee
  • Fall detection is only included in the highest premium plan

RescueTouch Overview

Scott Lepper’s background as an emergency medical technician led him to develop a way to improve responses to medical emergencies and incidents. In 2014 he founded RescueTouch, producing an innovative mobile device aimed at the seniors’ market.

The RescueTouch device provides greater versatility than traditional monitoring center models. Up to five contacts can be set to respond when the wearer presses the emergency alert button on the device. These contacts can be friends, family or any other desired emergency contact person or a 911 call center.

The medical alert device is supported by two broad service streams – family monitoring or professional monitoring. Six plans are available covering basic to advanced services.

Pros of RescueTouch

  • U.S.-based company with headquarters in Florida
  • Five contacts can be set for assistance with medical emergencies or other incidents
  • Choice of family monitoring or professional monitoring center
  • Two-way voice connection and family text alerts
  • Water-resistant and can be worn in shower
  • Available in four different colors
  • Unlimited cellular range
  • Plans start at $19 for basic services up to $64 for an extensive service range
  • Lifetime price lock-in
  • No penalties for canceling plans at any time

Cons of RescueTouch

  • Basic level plans don’t include fall detection
  • Device purchase costs from $99 – $178

Pricing Comparison

Overall, monthly plans for GreatCall Lively Mobile Plus are lower than RescueTouch. They start at $24.99 for basic services up to $39.99 for advanced services including fall detection. They have an initial start-up cost of $84 for purchase of the device and activation. For only $5 extra per month over the basic plan, features for urgent response and mobile apps appear to be great value for the money. AARP members can get a discount of $60 per year if they purchase the Preferred or Ultimate plans.

By comparison, the most basic package by RescueTouch starts lower than GreatCall at only $19 per month, with an upfront cost of $99 per device. The most expensive packages include a feature called Chit Chat which raises the cost to $54 or $64 per month depending upon whether the plan is for monitoring by family or a call center. However, this allows for two people to be monitored under the one plan—a great option for couples. RescueTouch gives discounts for prepaying plans quarterly and annually with savings of 9% and 17% respectively. They provide additional discounts for AARP members, nurses, first responders and veterans.

Our Pick

The strong similarities between the products of these two companies make it difficult to recommend one over the other. They are evenly matched with their all-inclusive monthly plans. RescueTouch provides a complete range of services for $29 to $39 per month while GreatCall prices the Lively Mobile Plus at $39.99 for the full range of services.

Where RescueTouch appears to come out ahead is with the Chit Chat feature that provides monitoring for couples. This appears to be more cost-efficient than buying two plans with GreatCall. On the other hand, the GreatCall urgent response service with direct connection to nurses and doctors is an extremely useful feature, and RescueTouch does not offer an equivalent feature.

Deciding between the two medical alert systems depends on which features better match the exact medical circumstances of the device wearer and makes their families comfortable with the level of service provided.

Compare More Medical Alert Systems

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