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 allow seniors to have access to help any time of day, seven days a week. Seniors want independence while also enjoying the reassurance that someone will be there at the touch of a button. Many devices include two-way communication as well as GPS location technology and advanced fall detection.

While most seniors have access to cell phones, the advantage of medical alert systems is that they are wearable and more difficult to misplace. In addition to that, medical alert systems are designed to be very simple to use. Many medical alert products and services are available making it difficult to know which plan or system is the best one. This is why we’ve put together an in-depth chart to compare them side by side to make it easier to choose the right system.

In this guide, we are comparing America Connect’s Medical Alert with a newer system, RescueTouch. While America Connect is the older, more experienced company, RescueTouch’s focus on newer tech and practicality may swing it for many seniors.


Side By Side Comparison


Medical Alert


Up-Front Equipment

$99 - free priority shipping - 30-day full refund

$0 - free ground shipping with the annual and semi-annual plans - 30-day money-back guarantee less shipping costs

Monthly Monitoring

$24 to $54 for family monitoring

$19 for professional monitoring

$39 to $64 for combination plan

$18.29 to $22.95/month for the At Home Landline plan

$27.45 to 32.95/month for the At Home No Landline plan

$32.04 to $37.95/month for the On The Go plan

Activation Fee




Monthly, quarterly and annual plans available

Monthly, semi-annual and annual plans available

Optional Monthly Add-On Services


Device Insurance - $5

Fall Detection Pendant - $10 ($9.17 for monthly contracts)


Water-Resistant Wearable Devices

SOS Pendant

Pendant and wristband



Landline or cellular (AT&T network)

2-Way Voice Communication

Through wearable mobile device that family members can call

Through in-home base for At-Home products or wearable pendant with On The Go service

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

No landline required


Battery Life

2.5 days with GPS on

5 days with GPS off



Fall Detection

Included in monthly fees with all plans except the basic professional and the basic family plans

Optional monthly add-on with all products

GPS Locator

Included in monthly fees with all plans except the basic professional plan

Included in On The Go GPS products

Coverage Away From Home

Included with all devices

Included with On The Go products

24/7 USA Call Center

Yes; monitored by AvantGuard monitoring with 40 years monitoring experience

Yes; service available in up to 140 languages



Free lockbox with annual plan

RescueTouch Overview

Scott A. Leper worked as an EMT in Virginia Beach before founding RescueTouch in 2014. RescueTouch is 100% owned and operated by health care professionals, EMTs and first responders. Senior complaints about huge medical bills incurred from automatic 911 calls for falls and other minor incidents, which were better handled by neighbors and family, led to the creation of family monitoring as an option with this service.

Other complaints from seniors about hidden high fees for unreturned “free” equipment and required continued monthly charges until the equipment was returned influenced RescueTouch to have their equipment available to be purchased upfront.

Rather than having a pendant that only allows the senior to press a button to call for emergency responders, RescueTouch operates more like a cellphone with two-way communication and the ability for loved ones to call seniors to check up on them. RescueTouch operates with cellular technology, does not require a landline and has an unlimited range.

Pros of RescueTouch:

  • Affordable monthly plans
  • Brand new equipment for each customer
  • No hidden equipment-return fees
  • Family-and-friends-only monitoring plans available
  • Designed by a first responder
  • Unlimited cellular range
  • Fall detection and GPS locating available
  • Wearable device that can’t be misplaced
  • Device can be called by family
  • Four colors to choose from

Cons of RescueTouch:

  • No landline option
  • Cellular service may not be reliable
  • Higher upfront cost
  • Newer company with a shorter track record

Medical Alert Overview

Medical Alert is a product of Pennsylvania-based Connect America, which is considered one of the pioneers of senior home security. Connect America has been focused on the development and distribution of patient monitoring systems since its founding in 1977.

Over 1,000 long-term care providers and managed health care organizations rely on its products, which are available in more than 30 countries. Connect America does not sell directly to the public but rather distributes through a network of contracted resellers, which include monitoring companies and drug store chains such as CVS.

The advantage of Connect America’s Medical Alert is that the pendant is waterproof and safe to wear in the shower. The senior wearing it never needs to take it off. For seniors who don’t want to wear a help button on a lanyard, the On The Go system includes a portable base with a help button built into the base.

Pros of Medical Alert:

  • Many years of experience in the industry
  • In-home pendants are waterproof and maintenance-free
  • Cellular service provided through the AT&T network
  • In-home base units include a battery backup
  • Mobile system can be used with the pendant
  • Mobile device includes GPS tracking
  • Fall detection available

Cons of Medical Alert:

  • Products cannot be purchased directly from the company
  • Questionable reliability of fall detection
  • Limited device options
  • Cancellation of service not completed until equipment is returned
  • Equipment may be used

Pricing Comparison

The upfront pricing for RescueTouch is higher than for Medical Alert, which may be a deterrent for some seniors. On the other hand, America Connect states that cancellations of service won’t be “completed” until the equipment is returned, resulting in a longer charging cycle, even if the equipment is no longer needed.

For home-bound seniors with major medical issues or those prone to falls, RescueTouch’s 911-only plan with direct calls to emergency personnel is comparable in monthly charges to the At-Home Landline plan for Medical Alert. The downside is that RescueTouch’s 911-only plan does not include inbound calling for family and friends. Medical Alert’s landline with battery backup may prove to be more reliable than the cellular network used by RescueTouch.

The major difference in price is realized through the mobile plans for each company. For seniors with minor health issues, the family-only plan for RescueTouch is less per month than the On The Go plan for Medical Alert. The family-only plan would be advantageous for seniors with family and friends who live close and can drop by for minor incidents to determine on-site if medical personnel needs to be called. The monthly and upfront cost differences for RescueTouch may be saved many times over by avoiding unnecessary emergency calls.

Our Pick

Both products have affordable options for at-home emergency service calling, while RescueTouch’s is also mobile for the same price. RescueTouch’s combination plan is only a dollar more per month than Medical Alert’s monthly On The Go plan and includes the option to contact family and friends, which Medical Alert’s plan does not.

The best option would depend on the needs of the senior. For home-bound seniors with major medical issues, Medical Alert with the landline option is the clear winner. The reliable service of the landline backed by the long-standing experience of a U.S-based company would bring peace of mind to family members through knowing that help is always just a push of a button away even during storms and power outages.

For those with fewer medical issues who are on-the-go and have family, friends and neighbors close by, RescueTouch is the clear winner. RescueTouch has a combination plan that is $39 per month plan that includes up to five contacts as well as direct 911 emergency calling for those who want that extra peace of mind of minutes saved when it’s needed. The newness of the company speaks more to its willingness to innovate than to inexperience.

Compare More Medical Alert Systems

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