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 for them 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 Rescue Alert with a newer system on the market, RescueTouch. While Rescue Alert has experience and longevity in its corner, RescueTouch has newer technology and practicality that may make it more appealing for many seniors.

RescueTouch vs. Rescue Alert Overview

Category


Side By Side Comparison


RescueTouch


Rescue Alert


COSTS






Up-Front Equipment


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


$0 for rental plans


$199 for a monthly purchase plan


$849 for a one-time payment plan



Monthly Monitoring


$24 to $54 for family monitoring


$19 for professional monitoring


$39 to $64 for combination plan


$27.95 to $32.95 per month in-home landline rental plans


$15.95 per month for a monthly purchase plan


$0 for a one-time payment plan



Activation Fee


$0


$0



Contract


Monthly, quarterly and annual plans available


Monthly, quarterly and annual plans available



Optional Monthly Add-On Services


N/A


N/A


FEATURES






Water-Resistant Wearable Devices


SOS pendant


Panic button that can be worn as a pendant or wristband



Connection


Cellular


Landline and also the capability for modem for VoIP or through a Cable/DSL connection



2-Way Voice Communication


Through wearable mobile device that family members can call


Only through the in-home base unit



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


No landline required


600 feet



Battery Life


2.5 days with GPS on


5 days with GPS off


80 hours


FALL DETECTION, LOCATION and RESPONSE SERVICE






Fall Detection


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


$10 per month



GPS Locator


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


Only through the Rescue Alert GPS



Coverage Away From Home


Included with all devices


Only through the Rescue Alert GPS



24/7 USA Call Center


Yes; monitored by AvantGuard monitoring with 40 years monitoring experience


Yes; monitored by the company's own response center based in Utah


OPTIONAL ACCESSORIES







None


$39 for Lockbox - $0 with rental or purchase plans


$5 per month wall button


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 that were better handled by neighbors and family led to the creation of family monitoring as an option with this service.

Spurred on by customer complaints about hidden high fees for unreturned “free” equipment and required continued monthly charges until the equipment was returned, RescueTouch lets customers purchase its equipment up front.

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

Rescue Alert Overview

Rescue Alert is a family-owned business that was founded by Richard Bangerter in 1986. He expanded his existing emergency communication system into the medical alert market, incorporated Mytrex, Inc., and set up the company headquarters in Murry, Utah.

With the release of the RA300V in 1996, Rescue Alert offered the first unit to feature two-way voice communication. Rescue Alert hit another milestone of innovation in 2011 when it introduced the MXD medical alert system that is compatible with cable, VoIP and cell box systems as well as standard telephone systems. Rescue Alert also released the myActive Fall Alert pendant in 2015 with automatic fall detection.

It also offers a GPS device, although many have reported issues with stock levels.

Pros of Rescue Alert:

  • Customizable integrations for the MXD system
  • Multiple ways to connect
  • Products can be purchased
  • In-home pendants are waterproof and maintenance-free
  • In-home base units include a battery backup
  • Fall detection available

Cons of Rescue Alert:

  • No two-way communication with panic button
  • Questionable reliability of fall detection

Pricing Comparison

The upfront pricing for RescueTouch is higher than for Rescue Alert’s rental plans, which may be a deterrent for budget-conscious seniors. On the other hand, Rescue Alert’s One-Time Payment plan is one of the highest on the market.

For seniors with major medical issues or those who are at greater risk of falling, RescueTouch’s 911-only plan is comparable to Rescue Alert’s monthly Purchase Equipment plan, although the upfront cost is higher. RescueTouch’s 911-only plan does not include contact with family and friends in the event of a fall or request for help. Rescue Alert’s landline with battery backup may bring more peace of mind than the cellular network used by RescueTouch.

Both systems allow for family and friends to be contacted rather than emergency services (only with some plans for RescueTouch), which can reduce costs for non-emergency issues better handled by a neighbor or family that lives close. This can help reduce other costs associated with having a medical alert system.

Our Pick

Rescue Alert has a lot of limitations. One of the biggest advantages of Rescue Alert is its multiple ways to connect. This may be a significant factor for some families. On the other hand, the pendant does not have two-way or even one-way communication, which is a major drawback. The person needs to be close to the base unit in order to communicate with the Response Center. This could be a major issue for a large or two-story house.

For active seniors with busy schedules, RescueTouch is the hands-down winner because it is mobile. The higher price of the family contact plans is offset by the savings incurred through preventing unnecessary 911 calls that lead to emergency responders handling non-emergency situations. Another advantage that RescueTouch has is that purchasing the device ensures that it is new and avoids any issues with hidden equipment-return fees found with other systems. Rescue Alert’s purchase plans offer the same reassurance, but at a much higher price.

Because of the two-way calling and the ability to have on-the-go medical alert services, RescueTouch is the medical alert system we recommend.

Compare More Medical Alert Systems

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