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 allow the elderly and those with a chronic illness or disability a greater sense of freedom and independence, knowing that they can receive help in a medical emergency or after a fall with just the push of a button. Some medical alert devices are speakers that monitor everyone in the home that can be activated with the push of a button or voice-activated, while other devices are wearable, in either a smartwatch or pendant style. Friends and loved ones of the wearer can also rest easy, knowing that their loved one can be monitored around the clock.

Medical alert devices are manufactured by several major companies, and each company has different types of devices and features, plans and pricing and extra add-on services. Features such as GPS tracking and cellular service may help find seniors who are prone to wandering or to locate them after an accident, while two-way voice activation and communication between a monitoring service and the wearer helps determine the level of service the wearer requires. However, finding the right device for an individual’s needs can be confusing. Each company uses marketing language designed to highlight the best features of their products and sell devices, and often, the terms used can be confusing to people not used to these types of technologies.

Here, we’re comparing the products of two well-established medical alarm companies, RescueTouch and LifeNet. We present these side-by-side, with pricing, pros and cons and features to help seniors and their loved ones select what’s right for their needs.

After a thoughtful analysis of LifeNet and RescureTouch, we’ve noted that while both plans cost about the same, the extra features and choices from RescueTouch may help subscribers have more personalized plans. However, the simplicity of LifeNet may be a better option for the very old or those who experience confusion.

Category


Side By Side Comparison


RescueTouch


LifeNet


COSTS






Up Front Equipment


$99 for a single device or $178 for a pair


$0, with free shipping



Monthly Monitoring


$19 for 911-only alerts


$24 - $39 for a single plan monitored by a designated caretaker or professional service


$54 - $64 for dual packages monitored by a preferred caretaker, the other wearer or a professional service


$25.95 - $29.95 for the Home & Garden Plan


$39.95 - $49.95 for Home & Away subscription



Activation Fee


$0


$0



Contract


Month-to-month, quarterly, or annually. No cancellation fees but no refunds on devices after 30 days


Month-to-month, quarterly, or annually. No cancellation fees



Optional Monthly Add-On Services


Several tiers of packages, each with inclusive services


None


FEATURES






Water-Resistant Wearable Devices


Pendant only


Yes



Connection


Cellular, using all major carriers. Plus, the designated "contacts" of the wearer call into the device using their own cellular network


Landline for Home & Garden


Nearby Cellular for Home & Away



2-Way Voice Communication


Yes, both device-to-device and device-to-contact


Yes, with both plans



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


Unlimited


Unlimited for Home & Away



Battery life


2.5 days with GPS turned on


5 days with GPS turned off


Up to 4 years


FALL DETECTION, LOCATION and RESPONSE SERVICE






Fall Detection


Not on both family monitored and 911-only base plans


Yes for all other plans


Yes



GPS Locator


Yes on everything except the 911-only base plan


Yes, for Home & Away



Coverage Away From Home


Yes, unlimited


Yes, for Home & Away



24/7 USA Call Center


Yes, using the services of AvantGuard monitoring, a U.S.-based company


Yes


OPTIONAL ACCESSORIES







Available in 4 colors


None


RescueTouch Overview

Florida-based Florida Health Alert & Technology company is the maker of the RescueTouch series of medical alert products, a company with over 40 years of design and innovation. This company focuses on the specific needs of the elderly community, and products are designed to be easy to use by those 55 years old and over. Other technology is designed for medical professionals, such as a nurse-alert system ideal for home health caretakers. RescueTouch devices use GPS and cellular technology for greater accuracy of the wearer’s location and to allow subscribers greater freedom of movement with unlimited range.

RescueTouch pendants operate similar to a cell phone, allowing back-and-forth conversation between the wearer and either one of five designated contacts or professionals at the U.S.-based company monitoring care center. The personal contacts can initiate contact first, or the wearer can, a feature that many family members appreciate, as they can check in with their loved one any time. Plus, these contacts can lend assistance in cases where the wearer does need aid, but not the emergency response level.

The Chit Chat package from RescueTouch is another unique system for medical alert devices, in that it’s a pair of pendants that allow both users two-way communication. It’s created to enable companions or spouses who plan to age in place together with the ability to communicate with one another and contact their monitoring operator or contacts in case of personal emergency or on behalf of the other wearer.

All RescueTouch devices are purchased new without a leasing option, which may not be affordable for all users. Plus, RescueTouch subscribers only have 30 days to return the device if they chose to cancel the service — after the 31st day, they may terminate the service, but the device(s) can’t be returned for a refund.

Subscriptions for RescueTouch may be purchased monthly, quarterly or annually, and those who choose quarterly or annually receive a discount. Plus, once a new subscriber joins RescueTouch, their plan pricing is locked in, which protects them from future price increases. In addition to these discounts, the parent company of RescueTouch, Florida Health Alert & Technology, also offers discounts from military veterans and families, AARP members, first responders and nurses and people who have a qualifying disability.

Pros of RescueTouch

  • Unlimited range, allows seniors to travel anywhere that GPS and cellular technology allow
  • Flexible monitoring, giving subscribers a choice between having friends and family as monitors or using the professional monitoring service
  • Voice connect technology and two-way communication on all devices and plans
  • Family member text alerts, where the device sends a text to designated family members if it’s been activated or the operator has been contacted
  • Waterproof and durable

Cons of RescueTouch Technology

  • The upfront cost of devices may not be affordable for some users
  • Pendant style only — no wristwatch style
  • No in-home speaker monitoring, just the user only

Lifenet Overview

LifeNet has achieved a triple-A rating from the Better Business Bureau since 2008 and is featured on Angie’s List. The company prides itself on service and reliability, with careful attention to training for their operators and devices that are created for seniors who may struggle with technology. With 24-hour customer service and transparent no-extras pricing, it’s one of the easiest systems for seniors to understand.

Lifenet has only two devices and plans to choose from, one that monitors the home and immediate outdoor area and outside the immediate home range that doesn’t require a cell phone contract. Unlike many other medical alarm device pans, LifeNet has no activation fee, no cancellation fee and free returns. The wearable device has a single button that alerts the 24-hour operator service, who then contacts emergency services and alerts the user’s designated friends or family members.

The home device connects to a user’s landline for service, and the “on the go” version uses nearby cellular communication. Both allow communication between the wearer and the answering service, and each device has batteries that last for up to 4 years.

Lifenet Pros

  • Easy to use devices
  • No need for a cellular contract
  • 24-hour U.S.-based monitoring system
  • Easy cancellation of subscription and device return

LifeNet Cons

  • Only pendant-style device available, no wristwatch
  • Home & Garden requires a landline for use

Our Pick

RescueTouch has several different types of devices and plan levels, but what we really liked best was the paired devices, the Chit Chat versions. Having the ability for a partner nearby to help monitor one another and the two-way check-in feature makes it simple, even easier than sending a text, for wearers to ensure the other is safe.

The monthly pricing for both brands is about the same, with the exception of the Chit Chat by RescueTouch. Lifenet is a simpler-to-use service, just a button that connects to a monitoring service, but it lacks some of the extra features that RescueTouch has. Overall, we’ve selected RescueTouch as the winner for seniors who want more options from their wearable medical device, although LifeNet may work better for those who aren’t comfortable with complicated technology.

Compare More Medical Alert Systems

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