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.

Medical alert systems help seniors stay safe by providing emergency assistance when they need it most. With these systems, individuals are able to alert medical professionals and loved ones when there is an emergency. It can make it easier for seniors to live a safer life, and it helps them maintain some level of independence as they continue to age.

These systems continue to be a popular safety tool for seniors and their families. There are many brands out there that offer various device types, so it’s important to research before making a selection. We’ve done all the work so that you don’t have to waste time researching different options. This guide compares the RescueTouch and Medical Care Alert medical alert systems. Both companies are reputable and offer different plans.

RescueTouch is a good option for individuals who want fall detection included in the monthly price and those who want to choose between an unmonitored plan and a monitored plan. On the other hand, Medical Care Alert is a good choice for those who want to customize their plans for their own needs and who may not want fall detection. It’s also an excellent option for those who wish to have access to EMT/EMD-certified phone operators.


Category


Side-By-Side Comparison


RescueTouch


Medical Care Alert


COSTS






Up-Front Equipment


Up to $99


$0



Monthly Monitoring





Family monitored: $29 - $65


Professionally monitored: $24 - $75





$29.95-$39.95



Activation Fee


$99 - $178


$0



Contract


Month-to-month


Month-to-month



Optional Monthly Add-On Services


N/A


$10/month Fall Detection


FEATURES






Water-Resistant Wearable Devices


Pendant and wristband


Pendant and wristband



Connection


None


Landline or Cellular (AT&T)



Two-Way Voice Communication


Yes


Yes



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


N/A


600-1,000 feet



Battery Life


Up to 2.5 days with GPS turned on


Up to 5 days with GPS turned off


72-hour battery backup for Home plans


Up to 3 days for Home and Away plans


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


Available for $10/month



GPS Locator


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


Included with Home and Away Ultra plan



Coverage Away From Home


Yes


Yes with Home and Away Ultra plan



24/7 USA Call Center


Yes


Yes; All operators are EMT/EMD-certified


OPTIONAL ACCESSORIES



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


Wall-Mounted Button


RescueTouch Overview

RescueTouch is a wearable medical alert device that is compatible with monitored and unmonitored service plans. The device is an SOS pendant that is lightweight, showerproof and durable. Family members and caregivers can quickly call and speak directly to the wearer through the RescueTouch device with the included VoiceConnect technology. No phone line is required to use this device.

For individuals who wish to use an unmonitored medical alert device, there are three unmonitored (or family-monitored) plan options through RescueTouch:

  • The Family Response plan alerts loved ones when the wearer presses the emergency SOS button. This plan allows up to 5 individuals to be added to the emergency contact list.
  • The Family Response with Fall Detect plan includes the above features plus fall detection.
  • The Chit Chat Twin Pack plan comes with two devices. With this plan, two people can be monitored under one plan and the two devices can also be used as walkie-talkies. This plan also includes fall detection.

For those who want professional monitoring, there are three plan options available through RescueTouch:

  • The 9-1-1 Direct plan includes one device. This device doesn’t have GPS tracking capabilities but does include 24/7 monitoring. This plan doesn’t contact family members; instead, it connects wearers directly to their local 911.
  • The Whole Shabang! plan includes one device and also offers 24/7 monitoring. This plan includes the same features as the Family Response with Fall Detect plan.
  • The Chit Chat Monitored Twin Pack plan comes with two wearable devices, and the plan includes 24/7 professional monitoring. It includes the same features as the Chit Chat Twin Pack plan — including fall detection.

No matter what plan is chosen, activation fees apply. There is a $99 one-time fee for a single device and a $179 one-time fee for twin-plan devices.

Pros of RescueTouch

  • The system works well from any location
  • Showerproof, durable and lightweight mobile SOS pendants
  • No home phone line is required for use
  • Unmonitored and monitored plans are available
  • Unmonitored plans can summon help from a neighbor to save on 911 fees
  • Monthly, quarterly and annual payment plans are available

Cons of RescueTouch

  • A one-time device purchase fee is charged
  • No in-home device options — all are wearable

Medical Care Alert Overview

Medical Care Alert is a Michigan-based family-owned company that offers both home and mobile medical alert systems. When individuals press the medical alert button, they’re directed to the monitoring system to get the help they need. The help buttons offered by Medical Care Alert are waterproof, are shower-proof and can be worn as a pendant or wristband. The home-based system is available through a landline connection or cellular-based connection.

For individuals who wish to have a home-based system, Medical Care Alert offers the following plans:

  • The Home Landline plan works through a landline, so individuals must have a phone line. This system includes a base station with a 72-hour backup battery, and it has a range of 1,000 feet. The help buttons are waterproof, shower-proof, and can be worn as pendants or wristbands. Two help buttons are included. Fall detection can be added for an additional $10 per month.
  • The Home Cellular plan is a good option for those without a landline, as it has a cellular-based connection. This system includes a base station with a 72-hour backup battery, and it has a range of 1,000 feet. This plan includes one help button, which is waterproof and can be worn as a pendant or wristband. Fall detection can be added for an additional $10 per month.

For individuals who want a home-based system and want to be able to use the system while in the yard or on their porch, this plan is available:

  • The Home and Yard plan is good for individuals who want a home-based system but also want to have help available if they’re spending time in their yard or on their porch. This system includes a base station and a portable device. The personal device has a two-way speaker and a help button. The portable device must be within 600 feet of the base station to work, but individuals can speak to operators through the portable device instead of only the base station.

A mobile and home plan option is also available through Medical Care Alert:

  • The Home and Away Ultra plan is a good pick for seniors who want help while at home or while on the go. This plan includes a lightweight, shower-safe portable device with GPS-, Wi-Fi- and cellular-based location services. The device has two-way voice communication built-in and includes a charger. The battery can last up to three days. This plan also includes a RemoteCare 24/7 smartphone app that shows the device location and status.

Pros of Medical Care Alert

  • All plans include 24/7 monitoring
  • All wearable pendants are shower safe
  • All Medical Care Alert operators are EMT/EMD-certified
  • Fall detection is available with almost all plans and equipment
  • There is no contract and no commitment requirements
  • Flexible payment plans are available
  • Discounts are available for those who pay annually

Cons of Medical Care Alert

  • Individuals are charged shipping fees unless they pay annually

Pricing Comparison

Monthly pricing is similar for RescueTouch and Medical Care Alert — though RescueTouch includes fall detection in its pricing without adding it as an upgrade. Both companies offer a free trial for seniors to test out their products and service.

There are no activation fees charged by Medical Care Alert, but it charges for shipping — which is usually around $12. But if you choose an annual plan, free shipping is included. Expect to pay activation fees if you choose RescueTouch. Medical Care Alert includes a free PIN-protected lockbox with every annual monitoring plan.

Our Pick

RescueTouch and Medical Care Alert offer similar products and services. If you like the idea of an unmonitored plan, RescueTouch offers this, while Medical Care Alert only offers monitored plans.

Between these two companies, we choose Medical Care Alert. It doesn’t charge activation fees, and while fall detection is an extra service, it’s available. All of the available plans are affordable and don’t require a contract or long-term commitment. In addition, the company offers both home devices and wearable devices. Finally, all of its operators are EMT/EMD-certified, which can give added peace of mind if something were to go wrong.

Compare More Medical Alert Systems

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