Best Medical Alert Watches

We compared the specs of over a dozen medical alert watches. Here are the five worth your time.
Best overall
apple watch series 4 rose gold
Apple Watch with Lively
4 out of 5 stars
4
  • pro
    Professionally monitored
  • pro
    Voice and text
  • pro
    Fall detection
Easiest to put on
Medical Guardian MGMove
4.5 out of 5 stars
4.5
  • pro
    Professionally monitored
  • pro
    Voice and text
  • con
    No fall detection
Budget pick
bellpal medical alert watch
BellPal
3.5 out of 5 stars
3.5
  • pro
    Professionally monitored
  • con
    No speaker on watch
  • pro
    Fall detection
Best caregiver access
Angel Watch Series R-Assist
4 out of 5 stars
4
  • con
    Not professionally monitored
  • pro
    Video, voice, and text
  • pro
    Fall detection
Best for Verizon customers
Verizon Care Smart watch product image
Verizon Care Smartwatch
3.8 out of 5 stars
3.75
  • con
    Not professionally monitored
  • pro
    Voice and text
  • con
    No fall detection

For active seniors who want a discreet medical alert device, a smartwatch is a great solution. Our favorite is the Apple Watch with professional monitoring from Lively. It has automatic fall detection and is more affordable than you might think.

If you're not an Apple fan or you’re looking for extra features, we’ve curated a list of other medical alert watches worth considering.



Compare the best medical alert watches

Product
Best for
Up-front price
Lowest monthly price
Contract required
Caregiver access
Learn More
Read review
Best overall $24.99/mo.
Icon Yes  LightNo
Icon No  LightNo
Easiest to put on $39.95/mo.
Icon Yes  LightNo
Icon Yes  LightYes
Best for budgets $19.95/mo.
Icon No  Light1-year
Icon Yes  LightYes
Best caregiver access $10.00/mo.
Icon Yes  LightNo
Icon Yes  LightYes
Best for Verizon customers $10.00/mo.
Icon No  Light2-year
Icon Yes  LightYes

*Amazon.com price as of post date. Read full disclaimer.

1. Apple Watch with Lively: Best overall

Best overall
apple watch series 4 rose gold
Apple Watch with Lively
$175.00 + $24.99
/mo

*Amazon.com price as of post date. Read full disclaimer.

We previously hesitated to recommend the Apple Watch as a medical alert device because it wasn't professionally monitored. That all changed when Apple teamed up with Lively. Now you can use all of the health monitoring and social apps during your day-to-day life and get fast, personalized help when an emergency strikes. Plus, it's pretty affordable despite being a name-brand watch. 

We recommend getting at least the Apple Watch Series 4 since this is the first iteration to include fall detection.

pro
Pros
pro Emergency button
pro Automatic fall detection
pro Professional monitoring
pro No monthly fee option
pro Step and fitness tracker
pro Extra apps available
con
Cons
con Optional cell plan costs extra
con Detailed setup
con No caregiver interface
con No trial period

Not for caregivers

The only thing lacking in the Apple Watch is caregiver access, so your loved ones won't be able to see your GPS location or get alerts when you enter or leave specific areas. For the privacy-minded among us, that's actually a good thing.

But if it's safer for your loved ones to know where you are and whether you actually went to your doctor appointment, then another watch might work better.

There is one workaround: you can set up the Apple Watch to share its location with emergency contacts when the SOS button is used. 

Lots of setup required

Image: SafeWise

Get ready to dot your i's and cross your t's to make sure the Apple Watch works right during an emergency—especially when it comes to fall detection.

We also highly recommend signing up for a cellular plan so that the watch can make phone calls. Otherwise it's useless without an iPhone nearby.

Check out our full Apple Watch review for more information about the settings you need to turn on for the best performance. We also explain how you can use the Apple Watch as a medical alert device with no monthly fees.

2. Medical Guardian MGMove: Easiest to put on

Easiest to put on

We were immediately impressed by the MGMove's soft wristband. It’s super comfy to wear and easy to put on or adjust with one hand or limited dexterity thanks to a special clasp. Its emergency button is monitored by one of our favorite medical alert companies: Medical Guardian.

pro
Pros
pro One-handed clasp
pro Voice to text
pro Step counter
pro Uses AT&T & Verizon networks
pro Caregiver portal
pro Five Diamond-certified monitoring center
pro 14-day trial
con
Cons
con Expensive
con No fall detection
con Some apps cost extra

So close to perfection

The MGMove has way more going on than a clasp that didn't make me get into an awkward arm-wrestling match with myself.

There's a caregiver portal that lets loved ones see where you are and whether you've been active yet that day—which is actually an excellent layer of protection, since something's definitely wrong if you've taken 0 steps. 

There are medication and appointment reminders and text messaging options. Since the watch face is too small for a keyboard, you just talk to the watch and it turns your words into texts—a nice touch for people with arthritic fingers. 

Plus, Medical Guardian's monitoring center is Five Diamond certified, and their products are consistently some of the best we've ever reviewed. 

Their experience and track record makes them trustworthy but also means you'll feel the difference in your wallet. The MGMove is expensive right off the bat, and some of the perks we mentioned—like reminders—cost extra each month. Expect a bill close to $50 a month on top of the nearly $200 required to get the watch.

And there's no fall detection in the MGMove. That definitely knocked it out of the running for the best medical alert watch.

Nonetheless, we like this one. Learn more in our full Medical Guardian review.

3. BellPal: Best for budgets

Best for budgets
bellpal medical alert watch
BellPal
Free lease + $19.95
/mo

No one will ever know that the sophisticated BellPal watch is actually a medical alert device. It features “smart” fall detection, meaning the sensors learn your typical movements and reduce false alarms over time.

pro
Pros
pro Stylish, classic watch face
pro Smart fall detection
pro GPS tracking
pro Caregiver app
pro SOS button can alert family or professionals
con
Cons
con Battery must be replaced by jeweler
con Watch must remain within 164 ft. of smartphone
con 1-year contract required

The watch itself is available with a free lease, and the BellPal’s monthly subscriptions cost less than most competitors'. For around $20 per month, the SOS button will phone friends and family. Professional monitoring costs about $25 per month.

The BellPal has a couple flaws. It has no integrated two-way talk, so pressing the SOS button starts a call on your smartphone. Carrying around a smartphone and wearing this watch isn’t practical for people with memory loss

Second, the manufacturers recommend getting the battery replaced by a jeweler every four to six months. You’ll need to really stay on top of your to-do list for this to be a practical solution.

Finally, you have to commit to a 1-year contract.

4. Angel Watch Series R - Assist: Best caregiver access

Best caregiver access

*Amazon.com price as of post date. Read full disclaimer.

In addition to its kids smartwatch, Angel Watch offers a watch for seniors. Called the Angel Watch Series R - Assist, this watch acts like a mini cell phone but includes some useful health tracking and medical alert features.

pro
Pros
pro Fall detection
pro GPS tracking
pro Caregiver app
pro SOS button
pro Video, voice, and text
pro Tons of health tracking
con
Cons
con Not professionally monitored

Angel Watch Series R - Assist goes above and beyond

Here's a quick run-down of features in the Angel Watch Series R - Assist:

  • Automatic fall detection
  • Sedentary alerts
  • Medication reminders
  • Body temperature monitoring
  • Heart rate monitoring
  • Blood pressure monitoring
  • Blood glucose monitoring
  • Sleep quality monitoring
  • Fitness tracking (steps taken, distance covered, calories burned) 
  • GPS tracking
  • Video calling

Not professionally monitored

Although it's packed with features, this isn't a professionally monitored watch. Instead, it pairs with a caregiver app for family-assisted monitoring. We recommend professional monitoring but admit that it's difficult to find the Angel Watch Series R - Assist's features in a professionally-monitored medical alert watch. 

Wearers can press the SOS button for three seconds if they need help. The watch will try to reach all designated emergency contacts until someone picks up. You can add 911 as an emergency contact. 

Learn more in our full Angel Watch review.

5. Verizon Care Smartwatch: Best for Verizon customers

Best for Verizon customers

The amount of features in the Verizon Care Smartwatch took us by surprise. It's not professionally monitored, but it's a nifty little medical alert watch that's actually pretty affordable.

You can buy it for around $150 up-front or spread the cost out on your Verizon bill over the next 36 months. A 24-month cellular contract is required too, and that costs about $10/mo.

pro
Pros
pro Voice and text
pro SOS button
pro Caregiver app
pro Up to 60-hr. battery life
con
Cons
con 2-year contract
con No fall detection

The Verizon Care Smartwatch watch is like the Verizon GizmoWatch 2 but for older adults. It lets you add 10 trusted contacts who you can call or text anytime, making it easier to check on the grandkids. But since the screen is too small for a keyboard, you can send only preloaded text messages from the Care Smartwatch.

Users can also share their location with contacts or call a caregiver for help during an emergency by pressing the SOS button. There’s no fall detection, but you can also set reminders for medications and appointments.

The Verizon Care Smartwatch also sends caregivers low battery alerts and inactivity alerts. 

More medical alert smartwatches we considered

6. WellBe HandsFree Smartwatch

The WellBe HandsFree Smartwatch monitors your heart rate, counts your steps, delivers medication reminders, and reaches a full charge in just one hour. It also pairs with a cool health-centric smart speaker—if you’re into that. Our main complaint is that it lacks automatic fall detection.

The HandsFree Smartwatch is phone-free, too, thanks to its built-in 4G LTE. You can speak to the watch like any smart assistant and learn about the weather forecast or nearby health facilities.

All of the independence-promoting smart features in the HandsFree make it perfect for the young-at-heart who like to stay on top of the latest tech. It costs around $30 per month and comes with a companion app for thorough health tracking. You can also allow a caregiver to receive alerts for missed medications or appointments.

7. Kanega Watch

The Kanega Watch is a unique medical alert smartwatch with voice activation. Just say, “Fred Astaire, get help,” to start a call with the monitoring center. (Fred Astaire is the Kanega Watch’s alter ego, like Alexa or Siri.) It also features GPS tracking, smart fall detection, and medication reminders.

We also like that the Kanega Watch can be worn continuously. One set of batteries stays in the watch while the other set charges. But the batteries must be swapped out daily, so it’s not ideal for folks who have trouble remembering their routine.

UnaliWear, the maker of the Kanega Watch, charges around $60 to $70 per month to monitor this device. If you choose monthly versus annual payments, you'll pay a $149 device activation fee.

And, whatever you do, don't drop or lose the Kanega Watch. UnaliWear charges up to $650 for lost or damaged equipment.

8. LifeStation Sidekick Smart

LifeStation charges over $55 per month to monitor the Sidekick Smart and makes you pick up a phone to order one. It also looks an awful lot like the HandsFree , which offers the same features (SOS button with GPS, heart rate monitor, pedometer) but charges about $25 less per month. We’d go with HandsFree.

Image: Alina Bradford, SafeWise

9. Bay Alarm Medical's SOS Smartwatch

We expected to like the SOS Smartwatch because Bay Alarm Medical is one of our favorite medical alert companies. But this product was a dud. Our tests didn't go well, from navigating the touchscreen with difficulty to placing test calls that never went through. 

The SOS Smartwatch appears to be from the same manufacturers as the MGMove and Sidekick Smart. If you like this design, we'd go with the MGMove—it has more features than the SOS Smartwatch anyway.

Senior safety expert Cathy Habas wearing the Bay Alarm SOS Smartwatch and demonstrating its home screen.
SOS smartwatch
SOS smartwatch

Images: Cathy Habas, SafeWise

10. AngelSense Watch

The AngelSense Watch is new to the market. We haven't had a chance to test it yet, but we have high hopes thanks to our good experiences with AngelSense's flagship GPS tracker

It's not a professionally-monitored watch, so caregivers are the only ones who get alerts when the SOS button is pressed. There's a fall detection option currently in beta testing, so it's too soon to tell if that'll be a permanent feature in the AngelSense Watch. 

It comes with basic caregiving features, like location tracking, route history geofencing, and low-battery alerts. There's also an auto pickup feature that lets you talk directly to your loved one even if they're not able to answer. 

Final word

The Apple Watch is a modern device with tons of other uses besides calling for help in an emergency. You're likely to wear it every day, and while we recommend the professional monitoring option through Lively, you can go the ultra-affordable route and contact 911 or loved ones instead.

We've crowned it the best medical alert watch overall, but the other options on our list are worth considering before you make that final purchase:

  • MGMove: A little pricey but easy to put on and feature-rich with a nice caregiver app
  • BellPal: No upfront cost but requires a contract and depends on a smartphone for emergency calling
  • Angel Watch Series R - Assist: Not professionally monitored but bursting with features and caregiver controls
  • Verizon Care Smartwatch: Requires a 2-year Verizon contract but good for caregiver monitoring and connections

Medial alert watch FAQs

Does the FitBit sense have fall detection?

No, the FitBit Sense is not a fall detection watch, nor is any other FitBit model.

Which watches detect falls?

Here's a list of watches that detect falls:

  • Angel Watch Series R - Assist
  • Apple Watch SE
  • Apple Watch Series 4, 5, 6, 7, 8
  • BellPal
  • Garmin vívoactive 3 Music
  • Garmin fēnix 5 Plus Series 
  • Garmin Forerunner 645 Music 
  • HealthAssist Watch
  • Kanega Watch
  • Lively Wearable 2
  • Samsung Galaxy Watch 3 and up

Generally, no. Most medical alert providers charge a one-time equipment fee and a monthly monitoring fee (if connected to a professional monitoring center). If you sign up for a medical alert service or buy a watch with monthly fees, it’s likely you’ll pay on a month-to-month basis. So you can cancel or switch your service whenever you wish.

Medical alert watches cost about $50 to $300 up front. Most medical alert companies charge around $30 per month to monitor these smartwatches, but we found fees ranging from $10 to $70 per month.

Smart watches for older adults are designed to be easy, but the learning curve still exists and false alarms can happen. When you accidentally press the emergency button, what happens next depends on the type of system you have.

Usually, you’ll have around 30 seconds to cancel the emergency by swiping the watch face or pressing the button again. You can always explain the false alarm to the professional monitor once they start talking to you. We haven’t found any that penalize users for false alarms.

How we reviewed medical alert watches

Rebecca Edwards holding TickTalk 4 watch

Image: SafeWise

Medical alert watches should be enjoyable for older adults to wear and easy to use. After all, nobody wants to feel like they’re on a leash. So we prioritized watches that give the most freedom to older adults and confidence to caregivers. Comfort, simplicity, and access to emergency help also topped our priority list.

We also awarded brownie points for extras that keep wearers healthy and active—like messaging and health-tracking apps. Learn more about how we approach reviews like this one from our methodology.

Disclaimer

*Product prices and availability are accurate as of the date/time indicated and are subject to change. Any price and availability information displayed on Amazon at the time of purchase will apply to the purchase of this product. Safewise.com utilizes paid Amazon links.

Certain content that appears on this site comes from Amazon. This content is provided “as is” and is subject to change or removal at any time.

Cathy Habas
Written by
Cathy Habas
With over seven years of experience as a content writer, Cathy has a knack for untangling complex information. Her natural curiosity and ability to empathize help Cathy offer insightful, friendly advice. She believes in empowering readers who may not feel confident about a purchase, project, or topic. Cathy earned her Bachelor of Arts degree in English from Indiana University Southeast and began her professional writing career immediately after graduation. She has contributed to sites like Safety.com, Reviews.com, Hunker, and Thumbtack. Cathy’s pride and joy is her Appaloosa “Chacos.” She also likes to crochet while watching stand-up comedy specials on Netflix.

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