RescueTouch Medical Alert System Review
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.
How RescueTouch Compares to Other Top Medical Alert Systems
RescueTouch, part of Florida Health Alert & Technology, ranks among the top 10 of 20 medical alert companies we reviewed. It earned the top score- a perfect 10/10- in the “Mobile Systems” ranking category, which measures device cost as well as its features. RescueTouch’s prices are on par with the industry average, but come equipped with an above-average number of features, and are made even more affordable by the company’s discounts for quarterly and yearly subscriptions.
RescueTouch’s mobile devices feature two-way communication with personal contacts, meaning that family members and caregivers of RescueTouch users can initiate contact with their loved one through their medical alert device. Each RescueTouch device is assigned a phone number, like a cell phone, so caregivers can call this number to speak to their loved one directly through their device. This helpful and unique feature makes RescueTouch’s devices stand out even further.
The company also received a high score in the “Reliability and Reputation” category, which is focused on factors that can affect customer experience and safety. RescueTouch maintains an A+ rating with the Better Business Bureau, offers a free trial period, and has an extremely fast average emergency response time of 10 seconds. All of the aforementioned factors contribute to a low-stress and reliable experience for RescueTouch customers and their loved ones.
Caring.com’s Medical Alert Provider Rankings
Caring.com’s team of experts and researchers ranked the top 20 medical alert providers based on different features, price points, and qualities of the company. Those data points were split into 5 core metrics and 30 sub metrics that were weighted based on importance in determining the overall quality of the companies. Each company, including RescueTouch, was scored and ranked based on those metrics and weights.
Pros and Cons of RescueTouch Medical Alert Systems
|Two-way communication on most devices||Does not offer any in-home systems|
|Founded by a former EMT||Users must purchase their device for $99|
|Offers 9-1-1 direct device and family-monitored devices|
|No extra fees for fall detection|
|9-1-1 Direct||Family Response||Family Response with Fall Detect||The Whole Shabang||Chit Chat Twin Pack||Chit Chat Monitored Twin Pack|
|Type of Device||Mobile||Mobile||Mobile||Mobile||Mobile||Mobile|
|Battery Life||5 days||2.5 days (5 days with GPS off)||2.5 days (5 days with GPS off)||2.5 days (5 days with GPS off)||2.5 days (5 days with GPS off)||2.5 days (5 days with GPS off)|
|Fall Detection||Not available||Not available||Included in monthly cost||Included in monthly cost||Included in monthly cost||Included in monthly cost|
All RescueTouch plans use the same device: the mobile SOS pendant. Users choose their service plan, and the pendant is programmed accordingly.
The mobile SOS pendant is waterproof and showerproof, and has a battery life of 5 days when GPS tracking is turned off (when GPS is on, the battery life is 2.5 days). Features like fall detection and two-way communication are dependent on the service plan.
This device costs $40 a month when paid for with a monthly plan. Quarterly and annual payment plans are also available and save users several dollars per month. Users must also purchase the mobile SOS pendant for $99. Other than the device purchase, there are no one-time fees. Fall detection is not available with this plan.
The 9-1-1 Direct is the most basic of RescueTouch’s offering. Rather than connect to family members or an emergency monitoring center, this device connects callers directly to their local 9-1-1. This is the only RescueTouch device that does not include GPS tracking or the option to communicate with friends and family through the device.
The Family Response plan costs $45 per month with a monthly plan, $42 per month with a quarterly plan, and $39 per month with an annual plan. Users must pay a one-time device purchase fee, but there are no other startup costs. Fall detection is not available with this service plan.
Family Response plan is unmonitored, meaning that friends, family members, and caregivers are notified when a user presses their emergency help button, not an emergency monitoring center. This device is a good idea for seniors who do not have any major medical conditions, but just want the security of easily being able to reach their loved ones if they do ever need help. Users may list up to 5 people as emergency connects for RescueTouch to contact when the user presses their help button. The emergency contacts may also initiate contact with their loved one by calling the RescueTouch device directly.
Family Response with Fall Detect
This plan costs $50 a month with a monthly payment plan, plus the $99 device purchase fee. Quarterly and annual payment plans are also available, and save users 9% and 15% per month, respectively. Fall detection is included in the monthly cost.
The Family Response with Fall Detect offers all of the same features as the standard Family Response plan, plus automatic fall detection. Other than the addition of fall detection, the two plans are exactly the same.
Chit Chat Twin Pack
This system costs $75 a month with a monthly payment plan, plus a device purchase fee of $178. This fee covers two devices. Fall detection is included in the monthly cost.
The standard Chit Chat Twin Pack actually includes two mobile SOS pendants, so two people can be monitored under one service plan. The two users can also use the devices as “walkie-talkies” to communicate with one another. The two mobile SOS pendants included with this system are programmed as Family Response devices, so automatic fall detection is included. Like the other Family Response plans, these devices are not professionally monitored and instead connect users with their preferred contacts.
“The Whole Shabang”
This plan costs $60 a month with a monthly, plus a device purchase fee of $99. The quarterly and annual plans cost $57 a month and $54 a month, respectively. Automatic fall detection is included in the monthly monitoring cost.
The Whole Shabang, previously referred to by RescueTouch as the “Maximum Monitored Caller” plan, is a professionally monitored plan that connects to the emergency monitoring center when users press their personal help button. Users may also add up to 4 additional numbers as emergency contacts. When users call the emergency monitoring center, RescueTouch will automatically send a text message to the listed contacts letting them know that their loved one may need some help. Emergency contacts can also track their loved one’s location at any time.
In addition to the main personal help button, the mobile SOS pendant has a side button. Users can set up their device so that the side button connects to one of their emergency contacts. That means that users can call their loved one directly through their device. This feature is very useful during times when the user needs some help, but does not need emergency medical attention. This device also allows emergency contacts to initiate contact with their loved one by calling the device’s assigned phone number.
Chit Chat Monitored Twin Pack
This twin pack costs $85 a month for monitoring service with a monthly plan, or slightly less with a quarterly or annual payment plan. Users must also pay a purchase fee of $178 for the two devices. Fall detection is included.
This twin pack includes two mobile SOS pendants programmed as “The Whole Shabang.” Both devices included in the pack have all of the same features and capabilities as The Whole Shabang devices. Plus, the two users can use their devices as “walkie-talkies” to communicate with one another.
Starting Costs and Contracts
RescueTouch has customers purchase their equipment, rather than lease it. This means that all devices are guaranteed to be brand new, but users do have to pay a purchase fee. For the single-device plans, the purchase fee is $99. For the twin packs, which include two mobile SOS pendants, the purchase cost is $178. Other than device purchase, there are no one-time fees. Free shipping is included with all plans.
All RescueTouch devices may be paid for on a monthly, quarterly, or annual basis. Compared to the monthly plans, the quarterly and annual plans can save users anywhere from 4%-15% per month, depending on the device.
There are no long-term contracts or cancellation fees, and all users are eligible for a 30-day free trial during which they can return their device for a full refund. Quarterly and annual subscribers who choose to cancel their plan before their prepaid period is complete will receive a refund of 80% of their unused balance.
RescueTouch devices are monitored by AvantGuard monitoring, a U.S.-based company with over 40 years of service. AvantGuard is TMA 5 Diamond certified, UL-listed, FM approved, accredited by the Better Business Bureau, and a member of the Electronic Security Association.
Caregiver Tools and Extra Features
Other than the 9-1-1 Direct, all RescueTouch devices include GPS location tracking. Listed emergency contacts of users can text “LOC” to their loved one’s device phone number. Within a minute, they will receive a response with a link to Google maps with the device’s exact location. This feature is especially helpful for caregivers of seniors who can be hard to get in touch with, or seniors who tend to wander.
Who Should Consider RescueTouch
Seniors Who Are Prone to Falls
RescueTouch does not charge an extra fee for fall detection – devices either do not have fall detection, or it is included in the monthly cost. Additionally, the standard RescueTouch mobile SOS pendant is equipped with fall detection. This means that RescueTouch users only need to wear one device, while some other companies’ fall detection technology requires users to wear a separate help button or pay extra for a specialized help button.
Caregivers and Family Members
RescueTouch’s premium features can make life much easier and less stressful for caregivers and family members of users. Allowing emergency contacts to initiate contact with their loved one through their device means that caregivers and family members are much more likely to be able to get in touch with the user, since the user will not have to have their cell phone or them or walk to answer the home phone in order to accept these calls. Users may also choose one person to set up as their primary contact, which means that they can press a side button on their device and directly call this person.
Additionally, RescueTouch sends emergency contacts a text message alert when their loved one calls the monitoring center, so they always know if their loved one needs help. Emergency contacts can also easily check the location of their loved one’s device at any time.
Seniors Who Do Not Want to Pay Leasing Fees
RescueTouch actually sells their equipment, rather than renting it out. While users do have to pay a one-time purchase fee, this helps keep monitoring costs fairly low compared to other companies that charge ongoing leasing fees. This can help users save money in the long run, as they never have to pay any equipment after the one-time purchase.
Additionally, forgetful seniors benefit from not having to return their equipment. Many companies charge a very high fee if users do not return their device within a certain window of time after canceling their service, and forgetful or busy customers are the most susceptible to this high fee. Since RescueTouch users purchase their devices, there is no need to remember further steps after the service is canceled.