ADT Medical Review Summary
The ADT® medical alert system is provided by one of the best known names in the home security services industry. Customers of the ADT medical alert service are assured by ADT’s long-term expertise in professional monitoring and security. In recent times, the company has also invested resources into making their medical alert products and services more attractive to consumers. They have also removed the need for an annual contract, a feature that might have caused consumers to hesitate in the past.
No Long Term Contracts – ADT’s medical alert systems can be subscribed on a month-to-month basis without any long term contract requirements.
Multiple Consumer Options – Besides the traditional home medical alert system, ADT offers multiple options to suit senior consumer needs. They have a system that does not need a home phone line to work, a mobile GPS system and an automatic fall detection pendant.
Full Home Security, CO, Fire/Smoke Alert Services Available – One advantage of ADT is that it is a home security company that offers a full menu of services including burglar alarms, carbon monoxide monitoring, fire/smoke monitoring and other services. For users who need all of these services, they can simply purchase it from one vendor.
No Prepayment Discounts – Starting at $27.99 a month for their basic system, ADT’s monthly prices are reasonable. However, they do not offer any additional prepayment discounts that competitors have.
Home Security Background – ADT is a large home security company rather than a dedicated medical alert company. Some consumers are more comfortable going through a company that is fully dedicated to handling medical alert calls and working with seniors.
ADT Medical Alert Detailed Review
ADT is one of the most highly regarded home security companies in North America. Their headquarters is in Boca Raton, Florida, and their stock is publicly traded on the NYSE. Besides home and business security services, they also provide medical monitoring through their Home Health division. ADT Health is the company’s division that offers Personal Emergency Response systems. These can be purchased separately from their home security services.
The ADT company has a history of over 130 years, while their medical alert monitoring service was launched more recently in 2004. According their website, their goal is to help seniors and people with disabilities live independently.
In recent times, ADT has shored up their medical alert offerings to make it more attractive to consumers. Besides eliminating their previous requirement for a 1-year contract, they have reduced their prices and added more products to their product line. This includes GPS mobile alert systems and systems that do not require a phone line to operate.
How It Works
ADT medical alert systems work by connecting users who are in distress with an ADT monitoring professional who call for help on their behalf. When an unfortunate scenario such as slipping and falling occurs, the user can press a help or panic button that they wear either as a necklace pendant or on their wristband.
A signal is transmitted to the base unit of the system, triggering a call into the ADT monitoring center. This establishes 2-way communications with the ADT monitoring representative. The ADT monitoring representative will then contact necessary help to assist the user in their situation. This monitoring help is available 24 hours a day, everyday.
ADT offers a few different systems to help users with different needs. There is the Medical Alert Basic system, which is a standard home medical alert system that connects to a landline. They also have additional options for automatic fall detection, mobile medical alerts and a base unit that does not require a home phone line to work.
The cost of the ADT senior medical monitoring service starts at $27.99 a month for their home-based Medical Alert Basic service. There are no installation and start-up fees with the basic system with self-installation. Upgrade options for a home medical alert that works through a bundled wireless connection is $34.99 a month. Their mobile medical alert system costs $37.99 a month, with an activation charge. Current ADT customers may get a very slight discount.
In general, ADT’s current prices are competitive. The only downside may be that they do not offer additional discounts for prepaying in advance, a feature that some of their competitors offer.
There are no long-term contract requirements to subscribe to the ADT medical alert services. Service is subscribed on a month-to-month basis.
The ADT medical alert base unit looks very much like regular medical alert base consoles you see provided by other top tier systems. It contains a sensitive speak phone which allows the user to hold 2-way conversations with an ADT trained monitoring rep when an emergency occurs.
An added feature with the ADT Medical Alert Basic base unit that is not normally available with standard industry offerings is the inclusion of a heat sensor that can tell when the temperature is too cold or too hot. This triggers an alert.
The system equipment comes with a warranty for repairs or replacements on regular wear and tear. Users will always have a system that works for the monthly price they pay. However, this warranty will not cover for lost or damaged equipment.
ADT Button Pendant
The system comes with a light-weight panic button pendant that is waterproof. The pendant can be safely worn, as well as work, in the shower. Their are 2 options for wearing the button, either around the neck as a neck pendant, or around the wrist as a band.
For spouses and housemates, extra buttons can be purchased at $15 a piece, without any extra monthly fees.
Auto Fall Detection Pendant
ADT offers a waterproof automatic fall detection pendant as an upgrade option. This pendant has sensors built into it to sense if a fall has taken place. For senior users with various health challenges that may render them unconscious if they fall, this auto fall alert feature can be very helpful. ADT’s fall alert option is available with both their in-home and mobile systems.
Users who choose to upgrade to an auto fall alert pendant should keep in mind that it is not 100% foolproof. Whenever possible, they should still press the button instead of assuming that an alarm call has been automatically made.
Monthly Testing Encouraged
Users are advised to test their units every month to ensure that it is functioning well. A light will come on on the unit to remind users to run the test.
Phone Line Options
The ADT medical alert system is meant to work with traditional phone lines. Voice over internet or VoIP phone lines could work with the system. However, it is subject to additional risks of incompatibility with the system. Power outages will also cut off the ability to establish communications with the monitoring center. For anyone who want to use a VoIP service, do discuss this with an agent from the company before getting the system.
With the Medical Alert Plus system, there is no requirement for a home phone line in any shape or form for the system to work. The Medical Alert Plus base unit comes with its own built-in cellular phone connection.
Like other medical alert systems in the market, self-installation is an easy process for ADT personal emergency alert systems. Additional help is also available through their toll-free support number. If need be, a professional installation could be requested for their home-based Basic and Plus medical alert systems. However, there will be an extra installation fee, and most people do not find it necessary.
The ADT Medical Alert Basic system comes with a good wireless range of 300 feet. The is the maximum distance between the help button and the base console unit for an alarm call to still be activated. It is sufficient range for most homes. However, the actual working range can vary based on the layout of the rooms, placement of furniture, home construction materials, obstacles and other interference. For these reasons, it would be good to test the system out from various parts of the home to make sure the system works well.
The Medical Alert Plus system comes with an extended range of 600 feet, amongst other additional features. Users should keep in mind that help is dispatched to the home of the user, not to an out-of-home location where the senior user may have clicked the help button from. For a system that works when the user is out and about shopping or anywhere else, the appropriate product to consider is their On-the-Go Emergency Response system described below.
ADT medical monitoring services are provided 24 hours a day, everyday. They operate their own monitoring centers, with up to 4 interconnected locations around the country. On the plus side, some users prefer the assurance the company offering medical monitoring have direct day-to-day management of how emergency phone calls are handled.
On the minus side, ADT does not disclose the type of training received by ADT monitoring center professionals, especially how they differentiate between the training for professionals handling medical alert calls vs. regular home security calls.
Having a backup battery source is important in instances of power outages. Users need to know that they will continue to be protected even as power goes out. The base unit of the ADT basic medical alarm system has a back-up battery source that will last for 12 to 20 hours.
Before the battery runs out, a low battery warning will be activated alerting ADT call monitoring center professionals of the situation. They will then call the user to let him or her know about the low battery condition and assist them further as appropriate.
Medical Alert Plus/ No Home Phone Line Needed (Additional Option 1)
The ADT Medical Alert Plus system is an upgrade option that provides additional features. It has its own cellular network connection, so that a home phone line is not needed. Many seniors have been ditching standard home phone lines. The Plus system costs $35 a month at the time of this writing. It presents an economically viable alternative to have a medical alert system work at home without having to subscribe to a home phone line. This system will also work with an automatic fall detection pendant.
Mobile On-the-Go Emergency Response (Additional Option 2)
The ADT On-the-Go Emergency Response system is a another additional option. It’s suitable for active seniors who are out and about a lot. It works both in and out of the home and has GPS location capabilities. This On-the-Go Emergency Response system comes with a portable speakerphone console that can be carried around when the user is outside his or her home.
Like the ADT Medical Alert Plus system, it comes incorporated with its own cellular network connection for both in and out of home use. The monthly fee of under $40/month includes emergency wireless connection service for both in and out of home use. Their pricing is competitive. In comparison, the Lifeline mobile system starts at $55/month, plus an extra $10/month for an in-home cellular-based connection.
The On-the-Go Emergency Response system will also work with an automatic fall detection pendant (extra cost).
Home Security, Carbon Monoxide, Fire/Smoke Monitoring
As a full service home security company, ADT can provide additional services that allow home residents additional protection. Besides medical monitoring, the company also offers monitoring for burglar alarms, fire and smoke, carbon monoxide (CO), water detection and temperature. All of these services come packaged under their Home Security package.
For seniors living on their own, all these services can provide additional assurance that someone is ready to help when an emergency occurs, beyond medical related situations. Most medical alert companies specialize in medical alert monitoring and do not offer these services. Users interested in these services usually purchase them as a separate package from a home security firm.
The exception is CO, fire/smoke monitoring which is an area of overlap service provided by select medical alert companies, as they are sometimes requested by customers of medical alert systems. The elderly can be more susceptible to conditions of CO poisoning as it is an odorless gas that can render a person dizzy and confused. They may also not be conscious enough to act when caught in fire and smoke. That is when a direct connection to monitoring personnel when such events occur can really help.
It is difficult to gauge the level of ADT medical alert complaints as most feedback about the company pertains to their home security services. ADT Security Services has a BBB rating of A+ and over 3757 complaints in the last 3 years (as of Feb 2017). Of these, about 30% were resolved to the to the satisfaction of consumers, while the rest of 70% were answered but customers either did not indicate their satisfaction or did not provide their final satisfaction assessment. The company did appear willing to investigate and answer to customer complaints.
Review & Compare
When choosing the best medical alert system for your parents or yourself, you can find quite a number of good companies to pick from, so take time to do your research and make comparisons. The ADT medical alert could work. As part of your research, you may also want to speak with a representative to get your questions answered.
Before making any purchase, it is always good to review a few options and compare before you buy. Readers can compare ADT medical alert with other highly rated medical alert companies in the Medical Alert Systems Reviews section, or through the Compare Medical Alert Systems chart.
While every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy of the information contained in this review, the information is supplied without warranties of any kind. We advise all readers to do careful due diligence before purchasing. Take time to visit the company’s website or speak with their representatives.