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.

Seniors who want to remain independent often need access to help 24 hours a day, seven days a week, for their safety and the peace of mind of their families. Medical alert systems fill this need by providing constantly monitored systems that connect seniors with everything from emergency medical services to neighbors and family through a small, wearable unit often worn around the wrist or neck. Some advanced medical devices have additional features, including fall detection and GPS technology.

Medical alert systems have become more popular in the last few years, and there’s an abundance of choices when it comes to features. Also, many devices are covered by Medicaid or private insurance benefits.

To take a lot of the time and effort out of comparing different medical alert systems, we’ve created in-depth, side-by-side comparisons to help you choose the right system.

In this guide, we’re comparing RescueTouch and MobileHelp, which are two of the best-known brands in the medical alert device industry. RescueTouch is produced in the Sunshine State by Florida Health Alert & Technology but serves clients throughout the United States. MobileHelp is considered the leading provider of M-PERS (Mobile-Personal Emergency Response System) technology in the United States.

Category


Side-by-Side Comparison


RescueTouch


MobileHelp


COSTS



Up-Front Equipment


$99 - $178


$0 - Equipment included with subscription



Monthly Monitoring


$19 - $65


$19.95 - $37.95



Activation Fee


$0


$0



Contract


No


No



Optional Monthly Add-On Services


None


Yes


FEATURES



Water-Resistant Wearable Devices


Yes


Yes, but not submersible



Connection


Cellular


Cellular or landline



Two-Way Voice Communication


Speak directly with customer through home or cell phone


Available on some models



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


Unlimited


Up to 1400 feet



Battery Life


2.5 days with GPS and 5 days without GPS


5 years with a non-rechargeable battery


FALL DETECTION, LOCATION, and RESPONSE SERVICE



Fall Detection


Available in higher-tier plans


On all plans except Wired Home for $10/month



GPS Locator


Available in some plans


Yes



Coverage Away From Home


Devices work wherever there is AT&T cellular service


Cellular devices work where there is AT&T service



24/7 USA Call Center


Available on Professionally Monitored Plans


Yes


OPTIONAL ACCESSORIES




None


Wall-mounted help button





Customizable medication reminders





EMS lockbox


RescueTouch Overview

RescueTouch is designed and manufactured in the Sunshine State by Florida Health Alert & Technology. The company opened in 2015 with the goal of improving lives for people aged 55 and older in Florida and throughout the country. The founder of the company started out as a volunteer EMT in Virginia Beach who saw the urgent need for medical devices like RescueTouch.

One of the most attractive features of RescueTouch is its ability to connect to both emergency monitoring and friends and families. This means loved ones can immediately contact the device wearer if they’re not answering the phone or responding to other forms of communication, giving peace of mind to everyone. Only one of their six products doesn’t have this option. RescueTouch is the only medical alert device currently on the market offering this feature.

Pros of RescueTouch:

  • User owns equipment
  • Created by an experienced, volunteer EMT
  • No monthly/annual contract
  • Communication by phone with family and friends
  • Water-resistant and showerproof devices
  • Established, Florida-based company with support throughout the United States
  • 30-day free trial

Cons of RescueTouch:

  • Plans can be difficult to understand and have complex pricing
  • Cellular-only may mean poor performance for locations with bad service
  • No additional quality-of-life add-ons are available

MobileHelp Overview

Also based in Florida but distributed throughout the country, MobileHelp is considered America’s leading provider of M-PERS technology. It produced the first fully integrated medical alert system with GPS technology and an innovative alert system that was designed to help families without home telephone lines. The classic MobileHelp medical alert system is a cellular-based device with a speakerphone-equipped base unit and a lightweight panic button.

MobileHelp is designed to give older adults and their families peace of mind by providing an immediate connection to Rapid Response, a 24/7 emergency call monitoring center dedicated to MobileHelp subscribers. Rapid Response has been in business for more than 25 years. After the panic button is pushed, a highly trained emergency dispatcher will speak with the subscriber through a two-way speaker system to assess the situation. Customers can also request immediate communication with friends or family.

Pros of MobileHelp:

  • Low-tier plans are very affordable
  • Maintenance-free devices with senior-friendly designs
  • Emergency response centers can communicate in English or Spanish
  • The non-rechargeable battery is rated up to five years
  • Subscribers can create a customized list of people to contact in an emergency
  • The help button has a range of up to 1400 feet from the base unit
  • Each order comes with a free lockbox

Cons of MobileHelp:

  • Available in only one style
  • The device can only be used where AT&T cellular service is available
  • Non-annual plans have a one-time fee of $49.95
  • Help button cannot be fully submerged in water

Pricing Comparison

Pricing for MobileHelp and RescueTouch is almost the same on a monthly basis for the lowest tier of service. RescueTouch comes with an up-front cost for equipment, and the customer gets to keep their equipment forever. Customers get a discount for paying annually or quarterly as compared to monthly by as much as 17%. Both companies offer a 30-day trial period, during which the customer can cancel their subscription and get their money back. RescueTouch offers discounts for AARP members, individuals with disabilities, nurses, first responders and veterans. It also comes with a Lifetime Pricelock, which means customers can expect the same subscription price for their plans going into the future.

While customers with MobileHelp don’t have to pay for their equipment up front, they are responsible for returning it once their subscription expires. Like RescueTouch, customers don’t have to pay an activation fee or shipping for the equipment. The company also claims to have no hidden fees or long-term contracts. Both companies offer fall protection for an extra price; MobileHelp charges a flat $10 on any plan while RescueTouch includes the protection in their higher-tier subscription charges.

Our Pick

RescueTouch and MobileHelp Classic come with similar features and close price points, so it’s difficult to declare a clear winner. Both companies earned positive reviews on several trusted sites, and both maintain A+ ratings with the Better Business Bureau. Both devices also work on the AT&T nationwide network wherever there’s cellular coverage; however, only MobileHelp requires a base station for its classic model. When it comes to an abundance of added features and low up-front costs, MobileHelp comes out on top. In terms of discounts, color features and long-term price stability, however, RescueTouch offers a lot of advantages.

For seniors who have family available to provide emergency response, we recommend RescueTouch. While many of the plans have professional monitoring, the two-way communication in many RescueTouch plans offers seniors an immediate connection to loved ones with unlimited range. MobileHelp is our choice for seniors who need to connect to professional emergency response. MobileHelp reigns supreme in this category by offering an abundance of options, including landline or cellular connection and access to Rapid Response, a highly reputable and established company in the industry.

Overall, our choice is MobileHelp due to its low up-front costs, abundance of options and highly reliable response. RescueTouch remains a solid choice for seniors who value a more straightforward experience that also includes GPS and fall detection.

Compare More Medical Alert Systems

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