What are the Best Medical Alert Apps?
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.
Smartphones are a staple for many seniors. Nearly 70% of adults who are least 50 years old own a cell phone, and many seniors also have laptops or tablets. These digital devices connect elderly adults with loved ones around the world and also provide an easy way to monitor health-related trends. That’s why many medical alert companies offer senior-friendly apps.
Some medical alert companies provide free apps for subscribers as a way to supplement their monitoring services, while others log data in complimentary caregiver apps. Standalone medical alert apps are also available, and you can use these programs without subscribing to a monitoring service. While many medical alert apps for seniors are free, you may get charged between $5 and $10 for a feature-rich app.
If you already have a medical alert system, check if your company offers a compatible app. If not, consider the options we’ve detailed below. Our guide references a few popular apps that may interest you, and we also explain how to decide which app suits your lifestyle.
Medical Alert System Apps for Existing Subscribers
Sometimes finding an easy-to-use medical alert app just requires a quick email or phone call to your current medical alert system provider. Many providers, including Medical Guardian, Life Alert and LifeFone, have apps that benefit subscribers and caregivers. LifeFone’s app generally receives high ratings, and you can download it for $5.95 per month if you’re an existing subscriber. New LifeFone customers pay $7.95 per month for the app.
Like competitors’ apps, you can use LifeFone’s app as a medical alert device. However, it’s also designed to work as a virtual escort service for elderly adults. Agents are available around the clock, so seniors can call whenever they feel scared, sad or lonely. This app is ideal for seniors who live alone or who regularly run errands and attend appointments with a loved one present.
Caregivers of LifeFone subscribers can also download an app from the company just for them. The app lets caretakers monitor movements throughout the day, track activity data and create medication reminders. Medical Guardian, GreatCall and QMedic and GreatCall also have caregiver apps for subscribers’ loved ones.
Standalone Medical Alert Apps for Seniors
You don’t need a medical alert system to gain access to a medical alert app. Standalone apps are compatible with a variety of smartphones and tablets, and you can use them alone or supplement your existing medical alert system with one.
Standalone apps work well for elderly adults who like keeping digital records about their health. Depending on the app you choose, you may have the option to monitor medications, create entries about medical appointments, log blood pressure and track your activity levels. You can give caretakers access to your medical alert app or encourage them to create their own.
Consider the GreatCall app if you want a standalone app managed by a reputable medical alert company. The GreatCall app has an emergency button for seniors who need prompt assistance, and it’s compatible with iPhone and Android devices. The company also has a separate app for subscribers with similar features.
Medical professionals often recommend Senior Safety App as a dependable app for elderly adults. Automatic fall detection provides peace of mind as you navigate your community, while GPS tracking helps medical teams locate you quickly after an accident. Caregivers can configure Zone Alert for notifications when a loved one travels outside of their usual area. This is helpful if you are a senior with dementia or Alzheimer’s disease who is prone to wandering.
Tech-savvy seniors may appreciate the features in iMedAlert’s standalone app. Press an easy-to-locate button and instantly deliver stored data to medical professionals, or hit a different button to alert saved contacts that you’ve been injured. An alarm notifies loved ones that you need immediate medical attention, and GPS tracking helps emergency workers find you quickly during a crisis.
Questions to Ask Yourself Before Selecting a Medical Alert App
There’s no clear answer regarding the best medical alert app because every senior has different needs. As you search for the right app, consider your responses to the following questions:
- What is the monthly price for this app?
- Does my medical alert system provider or health insurance company offer an app for seniors?
- Can I easily use the features of this app?
- How will this app affect my phone’s battery life?
- Can I use this app with a tablet, or does it only work with a smartphone?
- Can loved ones access my app from their own devices if I provide login information?
- Is automatic fall detection available?
- Is this app secure?
- Do I still need a medical alert system if I get this app?
- How will this app potentially benefit me?
Consider your options carefully before selecting a medical alert app that meets your needs. Pay attention to online reviews, and avoid apps that bombard seniors with advertisements. Choose an app that is easy to use and affordable, and make sure it’s compatible with your smartphone.