Walgreens Ready Response Review
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.
Also known as a personal emergency response system or PERS, a medical alert system can give seniors the peace of mind they need to feel safe in their home and while out in the community. These small, simple devices are designed to be durable and easy to use, with maintenance-free help buttons that can be worn on the wrist or on a lanyard.
Thanks to the popularity of medical alert systems there are now dozens of companies offering monitored emergency call devices and services, which can make choosing the best system a challenge. To help you decide which medical alert system is right for your situation, we’ve created a series of in-depth guides reviewing the top personal response systems, devices and monitoring companies.
In this article you’ll find detailed information on Walgreens Ready Response, a Walgreens-branded medical alert service that’s powered by Connect America, a nationwide medical monitoring company.
What is Walgreens Ready Response?
Walgreens Ready Response is a medical alert service provided by Walgreens, America’s largest drugstore chain. The company has three medical alert systems — two in-home systems and a mobile, on-the-go system. In-home systems come with a small, non-rechargeable help button that can be worn on the wrist or on a lanyard, while the mobile system includes a larger pendant that looks like a small handheld walkie-talkie.
Call monitoring services are provided through Connect America, a Pennsylvania-based personal emergency response systems company that operates two around-the-clock monitoring centers in the United States. This UL-listed emergency monitoring company employs operators who are fluent in English and Spanish, and service is available in other languages through a real-time translator.
Customers can purchase the Walgreens Ready Response system online or by phone. Despite being branded as a Walgreens product, the Walgreens medical alert system is not available at Walgreen retail locations.
Best Features of the Walgreens Ready Response Medical Alert System
Walgreens Ready Response offers basic medical alert devices, so optional services and features are limited in comparison to other medical alert companies. The maintenance-free help buttons are highly water-resistant, however, they are not fully waterproof so users are advised to remove the device before entering the shower, a bath, or going for a swim.
Ready Response does have automatic fall detection available as an add-on to any system, and the On the Go device includes a GPS locator that emergency operators can use to pinpoint the exact location of a subscriber.
The On the Go device also includes two accelerometers, a magnetometer and a gyroscope that are used to detect when a wearer suffers a sudden fall. The system continuously monitors the unique activity patterns of each user to help improve the accuracy of the fall detection feature over time.
Walgreens Ready Response Pricing
Pricing for Walgreens Ready Response starts at $19.95 per month for a landline, home-based unit when subscribers purchase an annual service plan. The same service costs $22.95 per month on a month-to-month basis and includes the use of a base unit and a wireless, wearable help button that can be worn as a pendant or mounted on a wrist strap.
The cellular in-home medical alert system also includes a base unit and wrist or pendant-worn help button for $32.95 per month, or $27.95 per month on an annual plan.
The Ready Response On the Go system comes with a water-resistant medical alert pendant equipped with a cellular transponder, speakerphone and GPS locator and a wireless charging cradle. This system costs $37.95 per month, or $32.04 per month on an annual plan.
A key lock box with a combination lock can be added to any system for $2.99 per month, or $35.88 per year. In an emergency, Ready Response operators can provide first responders with the lock code.
Automatic fall detection is available for an extra $10 per month on with any Walgreens Ready Response system.
Landline Home Based Unit
Cellular Home Based Unit
On-the-Go Mobile Safety Device
Monthly monitoring cost (month-to-month)
Type of help button
Pendant or wrist button
Pendant or wrist button
Range from base unit to help button
Up to 600'
Up to 600'
N/A - no base unit with On-the-Go device
User rechargeable battery
Yes - device needs to be placed on charging cradle every 2-3 days
In base unit
In base unit
In wearable help pendant
Pros and Cons of Walgreens Ready Response Medical Alert
As with all medical alert systems, there are pros and cons with Walgreens Ready Response. Here are some important points to review if you’re considering signing up for the service:
Pros of Walgreens Ready Response:
- In-home help buttons are lightweight, water-resistant and maintenance-free
- Monitoring costs are competitive
- No up-front equipment costs
- The On the Go mobile safety device is an all-in-one personal emergency response system complete with a speakerphone, GPS tracking and optional fall detection
Cons of Walgreens Ready Response:
- Customers can’t pick up the system in Walgreens stores
- No medical alert smartwatch
- No caregiver app or online dashboard
- Wearable help buttons only available in white
- No option to add wall help buttons
- Customer service is only available Monday – Friday during the daytime
- Fall detection costs an extra $10 per month
- The range between the in-home wearable help button and the base unit is limited to 600′ or less, which may be inadequate for users who live in larger homes
- Monitoring costs are not locked in and may increase by up to 10% each year after the first year of service
- Subscribers must pay for at least three months of service to activate their Walgreens Ready Response system
- No refunds for customers who cancel their service within 90 days of activation
Is the Walgreens Ready Response medical alert system available at Walgreens stores?
Customers can purchase Walgreens Ready Response through the company website or by calling the toll-free customer sales number.
Will the cellular in-home or mobile systems work in my area?
Walgreens Ready Response cellular medical alert devices connect to the AT&T cellular network, which is widely available nationwide.
Customers should verify signal strength in their home and local area before signing up for a cellular-based medical alert monitoring service.
Are there long-distance phone charges when the help button is activated?
The call center uses a toll-free phone number so that subscribers are never billed for activating their medical alert system.
What if a subscriber is unable to speak to the emergency operator?
When a Walgreens Ready Response device is triggered and the caller is unable to respond to the emergency operator, the operator follows special procedures that are personalized to each subscriber. The operator may try to contact a caregiver or neighbor before calling 9-1-1, or they may dispatch first responders right away.
Is service available in different languages?
The monitoring center is staffed by operators who are fluent in English and Spanish, and real-time translation for over 100 additional languages is provided through a third-party translation service.
Are discounts offered for a second user in the same home?
Everyone who wants to use the Walgreens Ready Response system needs to subscribe to their own service, and there are no discounts offered for a second subscriber in the same location.
What happens if I no longer need a medical alert system?
New subscribers are charged a non-refundable fee that covers the first 90 days of service, even when opting for a month-to-month plan.
After the initial 90-day period, subscribers can cancel their service and receive a prorated refund for any unused monitoring. Note that subscribers will continue to be billed for their monitoring service until all the medical alert equipment is returned to Walgreens Ready Response in good working order. Failure to return the base unit, charger and help button will result in a $350 charge.