Each year, about three million senior adults are treated in emergency departments for fall-related injuries. This fact drives medical alert system providers to continue using the most modern technologies to protect the vulnerable and deliver peace of mind to older adults and their loved ones. With just a simple push of a button or a voice-activated command, today’s medical alert systems provide convenient, around-the-clock emergency response to fit all lifestyle types, both inside and outside the home. Most systems offer either cellular or landline-supported units with two-way speakers to communicate with a monitoring center or caregiver. Additionally, mobile accessories like neck pendants make it easier to auto-detect falls and ensure that help is on the way.

Although modern medical alert system technology has expanded to include more impressive features than ever before, some seniors see these products as lessening their independence and negatively impacting their self-image with bulky, non-discrete devices. That’s where Unaliwear comes in. With its Kanega Watch, which looks just like any other smartwatch, the company is removing the perceived stigma associated with wearing a medical alert device, driving home its mission to “extend independence with dignity for millions of vulnerable people.”

The Kanega Watch is the first all-in-one, voice-controlled medical alert smartwatch with built-in auto fall detection. UnaliWear streamlines protection by offering a watch that contains the entire medical alert system in itself — no base station unit, cell phone or pendant is required. Below, we review the system’s pros and cons, costs and features to help you decide if UnaliWear’s Kanega Watch is the right medical alert system for you.

Read Our Review of Medical Alert Smartwatches

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Pros and Cons of UnaliWear Medical Alert System

Pros:

  • The Kanega Watch is the only medical alert device with Auto Fall Detection on the wrist.
  • Voice-controlled commands
  • The system uses quick-swap batteries, which means you never have to take it off to charge (24/7 protection).
  • The system uses both WiFi and cellular connectivity, resulting in more dependable emergency response coverage.

Cons:

  • GPS is used for emergency dispatch services only, not for tracking loved ones if they are lost.
  • All users must pay a one-time set-up fee exceeding $100.
  • Monitoring fees are moderately higher than traditional (non-watch) medical alert systems.

UnaliWear Kanega Medical Alert Watch Features

UnaliWear offers one smartwatch device in your selected accent color (black, rose gold or champagne gold), a comfort-mesh stainless steel adjustable wristband, a battery charger, and four rechargeable lithium-ion batteries. Its ongoing monitoring service includes 24/7 access to emergency response agents, auto fall detection, nationwide Verizon cellular service for the watch, and free rechargeable battery replacements. Below, we’ve listed three stand-out features that make the Kanega Watch unique.

Fall Detection on the Wrist

The Kanega Watch contains patented technology to automatically detect falls. If the watch thinks you have fallen, it discreetly alerts you with buzzes and displays an emergency message. If you do not respond, it beeps and connects you to an emergency response operator directly through the watch. Additionally, the system gets more intuitive the longer you use the device. As it collects data on what movements are normal for you, the watch reports fall detection with more accuracy. While there are many other mobile alert brands that offer a wristband option, none other than the Kanega Watch offer fall detection on the wrist. Instead, most require an additional lanyard or pendant to be worn around the neck to detect when a fall occurs. This distinction is important because many seniors are searching for the best of both worlds: reliable fall detection and a comfortable, discreet device.

Voice Controls

Knowing that touch-screens can be difficult for seniors to navigate, UnaliWear offers a unique speech interface that connects you with a monitoring agent as soon as you give a voice command. Once connected, the Kanega Watch automatically provides the agent with your name, address, current location, emergency contacts and any other important information on your account. If you’ve fallen or are not able to see or reach a button, this voice-activation feature gives you peace of mind that help is on the way. In normal, non-emergency situations, many users enjoy being able to simply ask the watch for the day or time and immediately receive a response back.

Quick-Swap Battery System

The Kanega Watch’s quick-swap battery system is designed so that you never have to take the device off for charging, which means you are protected 24/7. Once a day, the user simply swaps out the watch’s two batteries and replaces them with freshly charged ones. These easy-to-handle batteries snap in and out of place without the use of tools — all while still wearing the device. The watch itself gives an extra level of help by flashing a notice on the screen when it’s time for a battery swap. Many falls happen at night, leaving seniors vulnerable during a quick visit to the kitchen or bathroom. While most smartwatch users take their devices off to charge at night, the Kanega Watch’s unique battery system ensures full coverage around the clock.

UnaliWear Medical Alert Costs and Plans

Kanega Watch buyers have the choice between a quarterly or annual payment plan. The annual plan, which provides the most savings, allows you to prepay for the first year of service. $149 covers the watch and a one-time, customized setup. You’ll also get ongoing monitoring service for $59.95 per month (12 months paid in advance). The quarterly plan, on the other hand, breaks up the monitoring service cost into quarterly payments of $209.85 ($69.95/month). With this plan, you will pay $249 upfront for the watch and a one-time, customized set up. UnaliWear also offers special rates for two people in the same physical location, as well as active-duty military, veterans and AARP members.

QuarterlyAnnual
Monthly Cost$69.95/month$59.95/month
One-time Fees$249$149
Type of DeviceSmartwatchSmartwatch
ConnectionWiFi and nationwide Verizon cellular coverageWiFi and nationwide Verizon cellular coverage
Battery Life1.5 days1.5 days
Water-ResistantYesYes
Shower-proofYesYes
RangeN/AN/A
Fall DetectionYesYes

Starting Costs and Contracts

Regardless of whether you choose the annual or quarterly plan, you will receive the Kanega Watch’s “white glove” device onboarding included in your one-time setup fee. Before you receive your watch, UnaliWear’s customer success team creates your personalized monitoring center account with your emergency and care contact list and medication reminders. Seniors find the device set-up to be extremely simple, with no complicated manual or learning curve involved. The company offers a price lock guarantee, which ensures that your monthly monitoring service rate will never go up as long as you have the watch. Additionally, you are not required to sign any contracts. UnaliWear offers a satisfaction-guaranteed 30-day return policy. If the Kanega Watch doesn’t work for you, simply call the Customer Support Team, and they will promptly process your return for a full refund upon receipt of the returned equipment. After the first 30 days, returns are provided with a pro-rated refund of the monthly services paid in advance but not used.

Who Should Consider the UnaliWear Kanega Medical Alert Watch?

Seniors Who Have Tried and Disliked Traditional Medical Alert Systems

The Kanega Watch is geared towards seniors who want to feel protected from medical emergencies but are hesitant to wear the traditional neck pendant because they might feel embarrassed or uncomfortable. With its low-profile and stylish design, the Kanega Watch’s resemblance to a smartwatch is attractive to many seniors. Portable medical alert devices are only effective when worn, and 92% of Kanega Watch users wear their watch 24/7.

Seniors With a History of Falls

Because this is the first medical alert system with fall detection located on the wrist, it is ideal for seniors who are active outside their homes and also have a history of falls. The watch’s fall detection technology uses artificial intelligence that learns and adjusts its responses to a user’s movements over time. As it gathers data, the system improves in its ability to distinguish between reaching for the ball in a tennis match and an atypical movement, like a fall.

Those With Limited Cell Service

The watch is also helpful for those with limited cell service in their home or community because it uses both WiFi and cellular connection to ensure that you’re covered, even in areas with spotty cell service. While it automatically defaults to your home WiFi network, the Kanega Watch seamlessly switches over to Verizon’s nationwide cellular coverage whenever necessary. This double layer of protection gives the user peace of mind that they will connect with an emergency response agent when needed — no matter where they go.