The Best Medical Alert Systems for Fall Detection

We've chosen the top 5 fall detection systems from a list of over 75 contenders.
Best overall & best for budgets
Apple Watch 4
Apple Watch Series 4 and up
4 out of 5 stars
4
Starts at
$0.00/mo.
  • pro
    Optional professional monitoring
  • con
    Requires an iPhone
Most fall alert sensors
Medical Alert Mobile System
4.5 out of 5 stars
4.5
Starts at
$52.95/mo.
  • pro
    Professionally monitored
  • pro
    Extra panic button
Best non-wearable fall detection
aloe care total care
Aloe Care Health Total Care
4.5 out of 5 stars
4.5
Starts at
$49.99/mo.
  • pro
    Professionally monitored
  • pro
    Two fall detection devices
Best traditional system
HomeSafe with AutoAlert
Lifeline AutoAlert
4 out of 5 stars
4
Starts at
$44.95/mo.
  • pro
    Professionally monitored
  • pro
    Landline and cellular options
Best caregiver connections
Angel Watch Series R - Assist
4 out of 5 stars
4
Starts at
$10.00/mo.
  • con
    Not professionally monitored
  • pro
    Video calling

Automatic fall detection is a feature found in all of our best medical alert systems. This tech calls for help if you fall so you can get help right away. Falls are the number one cause of injuries for Americans over 65, so it's good to be prepared.¹

We like the Apple Watch as a fall detection device because it's so versatile. You can connect to Lively's professional monitors during an emergency for about $25 a month or pay no monthly fee and connect to loved ones and local 911 operators instead. Plus, Apple Watches do so much more than detect falls, so their value is hard to beat. 



Compare the best medical alert systems with fall detection

Brand
Best for
Starting monthly price
Fall detection cost
Equipment cost
Who gets notified
Fall alert technology
Learn more
Best overall & best for budgetsIncluded$176.99Pro monitoring center, 911,
Loved ones
•Tri-axial accelerometer
•Gyroscope
Most fall alert sensors$10/mo.Free leasePro monitoring center•Tri-axial accelerometer
•Barometric sensor
•Gyroscope
Best non-wearable fall detectionIncluded$349.99Pro monitoring center,
Loved ones
•Tri-axial accelerometer
•Radio frequency

Best traditional system

Included

Free leasePro monitoring center•Tri-axial accelerometer
•Barometric sensor
Best caregiver connectionsIncluded$189.99Loved ones•Tri-axial accelerometer

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

Best fall detection system reviews

1. Apple Watch: Best overall & best for budgets

Best fall detection watch
Apple Watch 4

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

The ultra-smart Apple Watch has everything we want in a fall detection device: options, options, and more options.

You can set up this smartwatch with fall detection that calls loved ones, 911, or professional monitors. You can pay a monthly fee (for the professional monitoring service) or nothing at all. Your loved ones can track your GPS location through Apple's Find My app, or you can turn off location services for privacy.

The Apple Watch doesn't look anything like a traditional medical alert with fall detection, but that's a good thing in our book. It's sleek, multi-functional, and doesn't constantly remind you that you've reached the age where falling is a serious health concern.

pro
Pros
pro No monthly fees
pro 2 fall detection sensors
pro Optional professional monitoring
pro Tracks other health data
con
Cons
con Expensive up-front cost
con Compatible only with iPhone

We used to rank the Apple Watch lower on our list of best fall detection devices because it wasn't professionally monitored. We're singing a different tune now that Apple has partnered with Lively (formerly GreatCall). You can connect to most Lively services—including Urgent Response—through the Apple Watch and iPhone app. Read our Lively review to learn more about its prices and services.

Apple Watch's fall detection with no monthly fees

You can still use the Apple Watch as a fall detection device without paying an extra monthly fee. Fill out a profile on the Health app and give permission for it to be shared with emergency responders. That's pretty much what happens with professional monitoring too, but without the risk of false alarm fees.

In addition to calling 911, the Apple Watch can alert your emergency contacts. You'll have about a 30-second window to cancel the calls.

The watch also vibrates on your wrist to let you know something's up. Don't ignore that vibration: if the watch calls 911 and nothing's wrong, you might get hit with a false alarm fine. 

Which Apple Watches have fall detection?

We recommend the Apple Watch Series 4 since it's often the most affordable model on the market, but any Apple Watch released after Series 4—including the Apple Watch SE—has built-in fall detection. Don't forget to turn on fall detection mode in settings.

Learn more about how the Apple Watch can promote safe aging in our reviews of the best fitness trackers and wearable devices for seniors or in our full Apple Watch review.

2. Medical Alert Mobile System: Most fall alert sensors

Most fall alert sensors
Medical Alert Mobile System
4.5 out of 5 stars
4.5
Starts at
$52.95
/mo

Medical Alert's Mobile System uses more fall detection sensors than the competition: an accelerometer, gyroscope, and barometric pressure sensor.

Each sensor's data is cross-referenced, helping to reduce false alarms and improve fall alert accuracy. But as with all automatic fall detection technology, don't expect this mobile medical alert system to be 100% accurate.

pro
Pros
pro Professionally monitored
pro Secondary help button
pro 3 fall detection sensors
con
Cons
con Expensive monthly fees
con Activation fee
con Limited equipment options

The Mobile System by Medical Alert comes with a secondary panic pendant. While it doesn't include automatic fall detection, this panic button can be worn around the house while the mobile unit charges. Press the button if you need help, and monitors will check in on you through the mobile unit's speaker.

Medical Alert also stands out for its customer service. We talked to a dozen medical alert companies about their fall detection technology, and Medical Alert's representative was the most knowledgeable and friendly by far.

Medical Alert's equipment lineup is relatively limited compared to the competition, and you'll end up paying nearly $53 per month for fall detection. You'll shave a few dollars off the monthly cost if you can pay semi-annually or annually. 

Learn more in our full Medical Alert review.

3. Aloe Care Health Total Care: Best non-wearable fall detection

Best non-wearable fall alert system
aloe care total care
Aloe Care Total Health
4.5 out of 5 stars
4.5
$349.00 + $49.99
/mo

Aloe Care Health's Total Care package includes a rare device: a wall-mounted fall sensor. It's perfect for people who don't remember to wear traditional fall detection pendants—or who simply don't want to.

The wall unit is also voice-activated and has a built-in emergency button, so all of your bases are covered. And because it's only available in Aloe Care Health's premium package, you also get the smart hub (also voice-activated) and the Mobile Companion—which also includes fall detection at no extra charge. 

pro
Pros
pro Wearable and non-wearable options
pro Lots of equipment
pro Voice-activated system
pro Caregiver alerts
con
Cons
con No pro monitoring
con Expensive up-front cost
con Compatible only with iPhone

Best home medical alert system for bathroom safety

Aloe Care Health recommends placing the fall detection sensor in the bathroom since older people often slip in or around the tub, but in theory, you could put it anywhere in the home. 

A mobile fall detection unit is also included in the Total Care package, as are some other accessories like the base station hub, two motion sensors, and a help button you can wear around the home.

All of it is monitored for around $50 per month with no extra fall detection fees tacked on, but you'll also have to part with about $350 up front just to get the equipment.

We also like that caregivers are kept in the loop in real-time. Through the Aloe Care app, they'll know exactly when a fall was detected and get a play-by-play of your conversation with the professional monitoring center.

Learn more about this innovative tech in our full Aloe Care Health review.

4. Lifeline AutoAlert: Best traditional fall detection system

Best traditional fall detection system
HomeSafe with AutoAlert
Lifeline AutoAlert
4 out of 5 stars
4
Starts at
$44.95
/mo

Lifeline (formerly Philips Lifeline) is one of the few companies that includes fall detection in a majority of its plans without extra monthly fees. Whether you want protection at home or when you’re out and about, Lifeline offers hassle-free fall protection.

pro
Pros
pro Fall detection in most packages
pro AutoAlert technology calls for help
pro In-home and on-the-go options
pro Landline/cellular coverage available
con
Cons
con Expensive monitoring fees
con Installation fee
con Activation fee

All-inclusive medical alert device

A lot of medical alert systems offer fall detection only as an extra emergency pendant, which means you may have to wear multiple devices throughout the day. With LifeLine, you need only one emergency device to cover medical needs and falls.

It’s water resistant for showering and bathing, comes with a free battery replacement, and has a 600-foot range from the communicator base.

Pricey but worth it

Lifeline systems seem pricier than the competition, but in reality, they're in the same ballpark as the other medical alert companies on our list. Lifeline just happens to give straightforward fall detection pricing.

Other companies give a monthly price without fall detection, which makes them seem cheaper at first glance. Once you add in those extra fall detection fees, Lifeline doesn't seem so bad. Plus, AARP members get up to 15% off Lifeline systems.

But we've noticed that Lifeline adds extra fees (like one for self-installation) to the checkout process. Expect to pay at least $70 for activation, shipping, installation. 

Why we recommend Lifeline

With over 40 years in the business, Lifeline recognizes how important fall detection is for its customers (literally lifesaving).

That’s why most of its equipment comes with the feature already built in. An all-in-one system like this means less for you to remember and more time for you to enjoy your day. 

We also appreciate that Lifeline is candid about its automatic fall detection technology and testing process. The team seems dedicated to continuous improvement. 

Read our in-depth review of Lifeline to get the full scoop on this medical alert system, its pricing, packages, and other features.

5. Angel Watch Series R - Assist: Best caregiver connections

Best caregiver connections
Angel Watch Series R - Assist
4 out of 5 stars
4
$189.99 + $10
/mo

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

Angel Watch Series R - Assist is a fall detection watch designed to be monitored by loved ones. There's no professional monitoring option, which keeps costs low. You'll pay about $10 a month for a cellular service plan, which lets the watch send texts and make phone and video calls.

pro
Pros
pro Extra health monitoring
pro Phone and video calling
pro Texts
pro Medication reminders
pro Full caregiver control through app
con
Cons
con Not professionally monitored
con Setup issues

Caregivers can easily communicate with their loved ones and see what's going on whenever there's an issue—including a fall. Plus, it has a drop-in feature that lets you hear what's going on even if your loved one can't answer your call. You can also set medication reminders on the caregiver app, monitor its GPS location, and make sure your loved one is being active throughout the day.

The Angel Watch also monitors some health indicators like heart rate and temperature. 

But we recommend this one with a caveat—we've recently read some user reviews complaining that the Angel Watch just doesn't work. If you decide to go for it, you have a 14-day return period. Make sure yours works correctly as soon as possible. Aloe Care Health's Mobile Companion is our next-best recommendation for a fall detection device with excellent caregiver features.

Read more in our Angel Watch review.

Other automatic fall detection systems we considered

Medical Guardian

Even though Medical Guardian's fall detection technology and pricing structure don't stand out compared to the competition, their personal emergency response systems are highly customizable. If you want to tailor your medical alert to your preferences, including fall detection, it's a company worth considering.

We cover more about Medical Guardian’s pricing, equipment, policies, and more in our full Medical Guardian review.

LifeFone

LifeFone has some good things going for it, including your choice of two cellular networks, lots of add-on services, and affordable fall detection. Adding a fall detection pendant to your at-home landline system, for example, brings the total monthly cost to about $35.

But we chose to prioritize devices with multiple sensors, and LifeFone uses only an accelerometer.

Read our full LifeFone review to get the lowdown on this medical alert company’s prices, equipment, and features.

Bay Alarm Medical

We love many things about Bay Alarm Medical, but this is another brand that basically earns a participation trophy when it comes to fall detection.

Yes, you can get in-home and on-the-go fall protection added to your Bay Alarm package, but it'll just be an accelerometer. ​Expect to pay at least $40 per month for fall detection through Bay Alarm Medical.

Read our full Bay Alarm Medical review to learn more. 

MyNotifi

MyNotifi isn't professionally monitored, so there are no monthly fees to pay. That also means your loved ones get notifications directly to their smartphones when you need help. Think of MyNotifi as a direct link to your children, grandchildren, neighbors, or any other emergency contacts you have.

There are some definite perks to a professionally monitored medical alert system, but the monthly cost can be a barrier. MyNotifi is a decent alternative, and it's one of the few fall detection devices that you can clip onto your belt or tuck into your pocket.

Samsung Galaxy Watch 4

If you have an Android phone, you'll be happy to hear that the Samsung Galaxy Watch 4 includes fall detection. But, unlike the Apple Watch, the Galaxy only relies on one sensor. It also calls emergency contacts only, not 911.

Kanega Watch

Designed as a medical alert watch for seniors, the Kanega Watch has some impressive technology—including automatic fall detection. But its monthly price reaches nearly $70. It might be worth it if the Kanega turns out to be everything you've ever wanted in a watch. But for us, that price is an industry outlier.

Medical Care Alert

Medical Care Alert used to offer the best medical alert system with fall detection because it included an accelerometer, gyroscope, and a magnetometer, but it was discontinued once 3G networks became obsolete. 

Right now, the company's best fall detection device is the ULTRA, which uses only an accelerometer. We hope Medical Care Alert plans to re-release the ELITE with 5G.

Tips to minimize falling risks

Whether you’ve got a fall detector or not, there are things you can do to prevent falling in and out of the house.

Ways to avoid falls at home

  • Secure rugs with nonslip carpet pads.
  • Install grab bars in bathtubs and showers.
  • Affix nonslip decals to slippery surfaces.
  • Add motion-activated night lights to halls and stairways.
  • Keep traffic paths free of clutter.
  • Make sure handrails are secure.
  • Wear shoes, slipper, or socks with nonslip grips on the bottom.
  • Keep up on landscaping and other outside maintenance like fallen leaves and snow removal.

Ways to avoid falls away from home 

  • Wear sturdy shoes with good traction that fit well.
  • Take your time. You’re more likely to trip or stumble if you’re in a hurry.
  • Be aware of your surroundings. Avoid walking and talking on the phone at the same time, and look out for cracks in sidewalks and other uneven surfaces.
  • Take care at curbs. Stop for a second and make sure you have a good sense of a curb’s height before stepping up or down.
  • Use handrails, a cane, or other mobility support to keep your movement steady and stable.
  • Leave your porch light on to make sure you get to the door safely when you get home.

Final word 

If you’re considering a medical alert system with fall detection, check out the Apple Watch with Lively Urgent Response. You'll get a cutting-edge smartwatch with fall detection services at a much lower cost than the competition.

Whatever medical alert system you decide on, remember that fall detection is an important and lifesaving feature. Adults over 65 suffer the greatest number of fatal falls, which are the second leading cause of accidental or unintentional injury deaths in the world.2

A feature like automatic fall detection can’t protect you from every crack in the sidewalk or slippery tile floor, but it can connect you to help in minutes when you need it most.

Fall detection alert systems FAQ

Does Life Alert have a fall detection button?

No, Life Alert doesn't offer a medical alert with fall detection. You must push the Life Alert button to get help.

Like your car’s airbag, a fall detection sensor measures speed and direction to identify when someone falls down. 

Automatic fall detection calls for help when an event triggers these sensors in a fall detection device, meaning you won’t have to press the button if you fall unconscious or can’t reach your device.

Learn more about how fall detection works.

False alarms happen, but you won’t be penalized by a professional monitoring center if your device triggers accidentally. Whether you’ve actually fallen or simply dropped your alert, the device will still connect to the monitoring center or your in-case-of-emergency contact. All you have to do is tell them it’s a false alarm. 

If the device connects directly to 911, you might get a fined for false alarms. It depends on your local laws.

You can use the panic button on fall detection pendants to call for help in all types of situations. If you have chest pains, get locked out of your house, or feel lost or confused, you can press the button to call for assistance through the pendant. 

How we reviewed the best medical alerts with fall detection

To choose the best medical alert systems for seniors with fall detection, we combined data from research, customer interviews, conversations with medical alert companies, expert and customer reviews, and hands-on testing.

We also looked into the impact that falls have on older adults and others at higher risk for falling.

Falls are such a major contributor to injury and death, so we prioritized devices that included fall detection or had lower prices if you added them to a medical alert package.

In addition, we considered and compared overall pricing, ease of use, reliability, and customer satisfaction.

To learn more about how we rank and review products and services, read our full methodology.

Related articles on SafeWise


Sources

  1. CDC, “Important Facts about Falls,” August 2021. Accessed October 26, 2022.
  2. World Health Organization, “Falls,” April 2021. Accessed October 26, 2022.

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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