Best Medical Alert Watches

We compared the specs of over a dozen medical alert watches. Here are the five worth your time.
Best overall
Lively wearable 2 medical alert watch
Lively Wearable 2
  • Icon Cons  Light
    Smartphone required
  • Icon Pros  Light
    Battery lasts up to 4 mos.
  • Icon Pros  Light
    1-year warranty
Easiest to put on
Black SOS Smartwatch from Bay Alarm Medical Alert
SOS Smartwatch
  • Icon Pros  Light
    Stand-alone watch
  • Icon Cons  Light
    Battery lasts up to 18 hrs.
  • Icon Cons  Light
    Warranty costs extra
Best for budgets
bellpal medical alert watch
BellPal
  • Icon Cons  Light
    Smartphone required
  • Icon Pros  Light
    Battery lasts up to 6 mos.
  • Icon Pros  Light
    2-year warranty
Best for heart-rate monitoring
handsfree health smartwatch (1)
HandsFree Smartwatch
  • Icon Pros  Light
    Stand-alone watch
  • Icon Cons  Light
    Battery lasts up to 24 hrs.
  • Icon Pros  Light
    1-year warranty
Best for voice activation
Kanega-Watch
Kanega Watch
  • Icon Pros  Light
    Stand-alone watch
  • Icon Cons  Light
    Battery lasts up to 36 hrs.
  • Icon Pros  Light
    1-year warranty

For active seniors who want a discreet medical alert device, a smartwatch is a great solution. Our favorite is the Lively Wearable 2 because it combines two important features: fall detection and a caregiver app. It’s also affordable and boasts a long battery life, but it requires a smartphone.

If that doesn’t work for you or you’re looking for extra features, we’ve curated a list of other medical alert watches worth considering.



Product
Best for
Up-front price
Monthly price
Fall detection
Caregiver access
Learn More
Read review
Lively wearable 2 medical alert watchLively Wearable 2
Best overall $24.99–$39.99/mo.
Icon Yes  LightYes
Icon Yes  LightYes
Black SOS Smartwatch from Bay Alarm Medical AlertBay Alarm SOS Smartwatch
Easiest to put on $29.95/mo.
Icon No  LightNo
Icon No  LightNo
bellpal medical alert watchBellPal
Best for budgets $9.95–$19.95/mo.
Icon Yes  LightYes
Icon Yes  LightYes
handsfree health smartwatch (1)HandsFree Smartwatch
Best for heart-rate monitoring $29.95/mo.
Icon No  LightNo
Icon Yes  LightYes
Kanega-WatchKanega Watch
Best for voice activation $59.95–$69.95/mo.
Icon Yes  LightYes
Icon No  LightNo

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

1. Lively Wearable 2: Best overall

Best overall
Lively wearable 2 medical alert watch
Lively Wearable 2
$49.99 + $24.99
/mo

The Lively Wearable 2 offers affordable GPS tracking and one-touch emergency assistance. Lively also offers fall detection and a caregiver app for the Wearable 2, but both services cost extra. It tops our list of the best medical alert smartwatches thanks to its simplicity and affordability. Plus, AARP members get a discount.

Pro Heading
Pros
Pro Bullet Emergency button
Pro Bullet GPS tracker
Pro Bullet Battery lasts up to 4 months
Pro Bullet Step tracker
Pro Bullet Optional health services
Con Heading
Cons
Con Bullet Must keep smartphone nearby
Con Bullet Lanyard recommended for fall detection
Con Bullet No watch face

The Lively Wearable 2 lives in the middle ground between high-tech medical alert watch and simple one-button devices. Instead of the touchscreen watch face, it has a single SOS button that turns your smartphone into the medical alert device. The device on your wrist connects to your phone, using its cellular connection and GPS technology to bring help to you when you need it.

Because the Lively Wearable 2’s functionality depends on a smartphone, it’s not ideal for people with memory problems or who aren’t used to carrying a phone in the first place. But if you’re already in the habit of pocketing your smartphone when you go run errands, visit friends, or tend to the garden, the Lively Wearable 2 offers one-touch convenience just in case you fall or don’t feel well.

The Lively Wearable 2 is compatible with smartphones like Android, iPhones, and its own brand, Jitterbug (one of our favorite cell phones for seniors).

The one thing Lively forgot to include is an actual watch face on this “smartwatch,” so you might need to wear another timepiece. Still, the Lively Wearable 2 is your best bet if you don’t need extras like messaging and reminders in your medical alert smartwatch.

Learn more in our full Lively review.

2. Bay Alarm SOS Smartwatch: Easiest to put on

Easiest to put on

We were immediately impressed by the SOS Smartwatch’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: Bay Alarm Medical.

Pro Heading
Pros
Pro Bullet Emergency button
Pro Bullet GPS tracker
Pro Bullet Step tracker
Pro Bullet Easy one-handed clasp
Pro Bullet Soft wristband
Con Heading
Cons
Con Bullet Battery lasts 6–18 hours
Con Bullet No fall detection

If you end up needing assistance, just press and hold the side button until the watch starts to ring the monitoring center. You can talk to them through the watch, and they’ll automatically receive your GPS coordinates so helpers know where you are (even if you’re not sure yourself).

Other than that, the SOS Smartwatch is a little short on features. It's not a fall detection system, and there's no way for a caregiver to track your location. But it doubles as a step counter and a regular watch with large analog or digital clock faces.

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

Images: Cathy Habas, SafeWise

Unlike other medical alert smartwatches, you don’t need to pair this one to a smartphone. It works all by itself throughout the entire AT&T cellular service area.

You’ll need to charge the SOS Smartwatch every night since its battery lasts just 18 hours max. To prevent any mistakes, a magnet ensures the charger and watch lock into place, and a voice announces that the watch is charging. 

Learn more about this medical alert company in our full review of Bay Alarm Medical.

3. BellPal: Best for budgets

Best for budgets

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 Heading
Pros
Pro Bullet Stylish, classic watch face
Pro Bullet Smart fall detection
Pro Bullet GPS tracking
Pro Bullet Caregiver app
Pro Bullet SOS button can alert family or professionals
Con Heading
Cons
Con Bullet Battery must be replaced by jeweler
Con Bullet Watch must remain within 164 ft. of smartphone

Although the watch itself costs nearly $200, the BellPal’s monthly subscriptions cost less than competitions’ by a longshot. For around $10 per month, the SOS button will phone friends and family. Professional monitoring costs about $20 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. As with the Lively Wearable 2, 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.

4. HandsFree Smartwatch: Best for heart-rate monitoring

Best for heart-rate monitoring
handsfree health smartwatch (1)
HandsFree Smartwatch
$119.95 + $29.95
/mo

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

The 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.

Pro Heading
Pros
Pro Bullet Charges in 1 hour
Pro Bullet SOS button with GPS
Pro Bullet Caregiver app
Pro Bullet Heart rate monitor and step counter
Pro Bullet Medication reminders
Con Heading
Cons
Con Bullet Battery lasts 24 hours
Con Bullet No 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.

5. Kanega Watch: Best for voice activation

Best for voice activation
Kanega-Watch
Kanega Watch
$149 + $59.99
/mo

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.

Pro Heading
Pros
Pro Bullet Smart fall detection
Pro Bullet GPS tracking
Pro Bullet No smartphone required
Pro Bullet Medication reminders
Pro Bullet Voice activation
Con Heading
Cons
Con Bullet Batteries last up to 36 hours
Con Bullet Expensive

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.

More medical alert smartwatches we considered

Freedom Guardian

The Freedom Guardian’s senior-friendly features include a large screen, read-aloud alerts, simple messaging, and a one-touch SOS button. It uses three forms of location tracking to keep tabs on wandering wearers and counts steps to keep you active. It lacks fall detection.

The Freedom Guardian costs nearly $300 up front and about $45/month, making it one of the more expensive medical alert watches on our list. Features like messages and reminders also cost a little extra monthly.

But the main reason the Freedom Guardian didn’t land on our list is that it’s back-ordered for the foreseeable future.

Learn more about the makers of the Freedom Guardian in our full Medical Guardian review

Apple Watch Series 5

While the Apple Watch 5 is designed for all ages, it includes automatic fall detection, a feature designed with seniors in mind. In the event of a fall, the watch will ask if you need help. If the user doesn’t respond within 60 seconds, it will call for emergency responders.

It didn’t make the top five because it lacks other features we like to see in medical alert devices, like an SOS button or a caregiver portal with GPS history. Still, the Apple Watch 5 is a great tool for older adults of all activity and tech literacy levels. For example, its exercise, step, and heart monitoring help motivate wearers to stay active.

This smartwatch retails for around $430, but it doesn’t require monthly payments because it’s not professionally monitored.

Angel Watch Series R - Assist

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:

  • 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

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.

Verizon Care Smart

The Verizon Care Smart 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 Smart watch.

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 Smart costs around $150 up front, and you’ll also have to sign up for a 24-month contract to get Verizon’s cellular service for about $10/month. It’s currently out of stock, so it didn’t make the cut for our top five.

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.

Final word

Medical alert watches offer a modern solution to old-fashioned medical alert systems. They keep older adults active and independent longer while making it easy for families to stay in touch.

The Lively Wearable 2’s professional medical alert monitoring, advanced GPS location technologies, one-touch help button, and affordability make it our favorite medical alert watch. Plus, it’s comfy and enjoyable for older adults to wear. After all, it won’t be much help if you’re not wearing it when an emergency strikes.

FAQ

Yes, all the devices we included in this review are water-resistant. The slippery surface in showers and bathtubs makes them dangerous for people prone to falls, so this is an important feature to have.

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.

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.

The Lively Wearable 2 gets our vote for the best medical alert watch for seniors thanks to its combination of fall detection, GPS tracking, and professional monitoring. But, oddly enough, it doesn’t actually tell time.

Our runner-up is Bay Alarm’s SOS Smartwatch . It has an easy-to-read watch face, one-handed clasp, and ultra-soft material. It has an emergency SOS button with GPS but doesn’t include fall detection.

The Lively Wearable 2, BellPal, Kanega Watch, and Apple Watch 5 and 6 offer automatic fall detection.

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

How we reviewed medical alert watches

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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