Why Medical Alert Systems Don’t Work With Cell Phones

November 20, 2013

Older gentleman using cell phone on street.

These days, seniors are more tech-savvy than ever. We’re noticing a new wave of the elderly adopting smart phones, tablets, and digital television services.

Because of this shift from analog to digital, we’re now seeing more and more seniors ditching their old landlines and moving to digital phone services.

It’s no wonder that many of our callers ask us about a cell phone medical alert system. However, although it may seem like a good idea, here are some reasons why a cell phone medical alert system may not be as convenient as it seems upon first glance.

No personalized profile – The heart of any medical alert system is the 24/7 monitoring station that backs it. When you contact 911, they won’t have your emergency contacts or medical information ready for the paramedics.

No battery backup – Our home medical alert systems have a 32-hour battery backup in case of a power outage. If your medical alert system relies on your cell phone battery and that battery dies, there is no battery backup.

Lack of cellular reception – Cell phones rely on good cellular signal strength to make calls. In certain areas, there is very little reception. This can make it difficult to get help quickly.

Additional cost – Cell phone service can be as expensive as, or more than, the monthly cost of a standard landline medical alert system. The monthly cost of a cell phone compatible medical alert service may be very high due to the advanced technology. Many seniors are on a fixed income and cannot afford the additional fees.

We currently offer a landline medical alert system and a cellular-network medical alert unit. These systems were designed for use at home only. We also offer a GPS-enabled medical alert system for use outside the home.

Our newly-released cellular unit operates off of AT&T’s nationwide cellular coverage. This system is for users who have no landline, but need 24/7 medical protection in and around the home. This device does not work off of cell phones, it has a SIM card installed to pick up AT&T cellular network signals around the home. It does not have GPS capabilities and it will not work outside of the home.

If you’re interested in the cellular-network medical alert system, please be sure to check AT&T’s map of coverage to make sure that you have a high signal strength of at least 3 or more bars in your area.

Our GPS medical alert system does not operate off of a cell phone, but it may be used as added protection for someone with a cell phone. The ease of pressing it’s button to get help can make all the difference in an emergency. This system also relies on strong AT&T signal strength, so please look into coverage in your area or areas that you commonly habit before purchasing one.

Someday in the future we may offer a cell phone medical alert system to our customers, but only once we find that it is absolutely safe and secure for use.

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