Mobile Alert Review Summary
Medical Guardian Mobile Alert systems with GPS allow seniors to receive medical alert monitoring both at home and when away from home. Seniors can choose between two different mobile devices. There is the Mobile Guardian alert system – a portable medical alert with GPS device that pairs up with a help button transmitter. Their Active Guardian GPS & Wifi-enabled tracking system is a stand-alone all-in-one mobile alert pendant device that operates without a separate base unit.
These mobile alert systems come with water-resistant emergency alert help buttons that can be worn in showers and baths, where seniors are at a higher risk of falling. Like Medical Guardian’s in-home medical alert systems, they provide seniors and other users with access to 24/7 monitoring help. In addition, they are portable and GPS enabled.
Medical Guardian Mobile Alert With GPS Systems
|Mobile Guardian||Active Guardian|
|System Equipment||Portable mobile alert device with GPS, charging cradle, wristband/necklace help button pendant, carrying case||Wearable all-in-one mobile alert device with GPS/ Wifi positioning, charging cradle, adjustable lanyard|
|Cost||$39.95 per month||$49.95 per month|
|Size of GPS Mobile Alert Device||3.5″ x 2.1″ x 0.75″||2.7″ x 1.7″ x .7″|
|Weight of GPS Mobile Alert Device||2.4 oz||2.0 oz|
|Speaker and Microphone in Neck Pendant||No||Yes|
|Works Both In and Out of the Home||Yes||Yes|
|Locations Tracking||GPS||GPS & Wifi|
|Mobile Alert Device Battery Life||Up to 1 full day||Up to 5 days|
|Water-Resistant Help Button||Wristband/necklace help button pendant is water-resistant||Mobile pendant device is water-resistant|
|Automatic Fall Detection||Not Available||Yes with upgraded plan|
|Get Started Online||Get Started Online|
Disclosure: We receive referrals commissions for purchases made (details).
Medical Guardian Mobile Alert Detailed Review
Medical Guardian is a leading provider of medical alert systems based in Philadelphia, PA. They are a reputable company that strives to offer good equipment choices, fair terms and responsive friendly service to their customers. Besides standard home medical alert systems, they are industry leaders in bringing new systems based on the latest technologies to consumers.
Medical Guardian’s first Mobile GPS Alert system was the Mobile Guardian, introduced in late 2013. This was followed by Premium Guardian in 2015, which has since been superseded by the Active Guardian device in late 2017. Both types of mobile alert systems are discussed and compared in depth in this review. To learn more about Medical Guardian, we have a full Medical Guardian review here on this site, where there is more information regarding the company’s entire product line. We also have a separate Premium Guardian review that goes into a greater analysis of the system’s pros and cons.
For additional choices, you can compare Medical Guardian’s Mobile Alert system with other mobile systems in the Medical Alert Systems With GPS Reviews section.
How Mobile Alert Works
Medical Guardian’s mobile alert systems works both at home and outside the home (eg. traveling across town, shopping, running errands). There are two systems to choose from – Mobile Guardian and Active Guardian. Below, we explain how each system works.
How the Mobile Guardian Alert System Works
The Mobile Guardian mobile alert system comes in the form of a portable speakerphone base station device that pairs up with a help button that is worn either as a pendant or a wristband.
At home, the senior user would wear a waterproof SOS help button either in the form of a wristband or as a neck pendant. Whenever an emergency develops, the user can press the SOS help button. This then transmits an signal to the base unit device to initiate a call to the alerts monitoring center. A monitoring specialist will be on the line quickly to assist. Communications between the monitoring specialist and user is facilitated by the speaker and microphone on the base unit.
This works similarly to Medical Guardian’s in-home medical alert systems when users are at home.
Outside The Home (Eg. When Shopping, Traveling, Going To Appointments)
When outside the home, the senior user can bring with him or her the system’s portable handheld base unit device. The portable base unit is about the size of a card deck and can be kept in the purse or worn with a belt clip. If there is an unfortunate accident or medical emergency, the user can press the emergency button on the portable unit and he or she will be connected to a monitoring specialist. The monitoring specialist will speak with the user to assess the situation, and send help as appropriate.
When the user returns home, he or she can put the portable unit back into the charging cradle, and the medical alert system will continue to function much like any standard home-based medical alert system.
How the Active Guardian Alert System Works
Active Guardian is small mobile help pendant device that can be worn with a lanyard. The help pendant can be worn both in and out of the home. Unlike Mobile Guardian, there is no separate portable base unit that the senior user needs to remember to bring along with them when they leave home. It is a small all-in-one button device that does it all.
When an emergency occurs, the user will press on the help button on their pendant to activate a call to Medical Guardian’s emergency response center. When the call connects to a monitoring specialist, the user can speak directly into their pendant to ask for help.
Active Guardian Replaces Premium Guardian
Medical Guardian’s previous version of a premium all-in-one mobile medical alert device was called the Premium Guardian. The Premium Guardian device is very similar to Active Guardian but it lacked wifi positioning for location tracking. For the same cost, new customers are now getting the Active Guardian device instead. If you like more information on Premium Guardian, we have a review here.
Both Mobile Guardian and Active Guardian mobile alert systems come with GPS tracking. For Mobile Guardian, the GPS tracker is fitted into its portable medical alert or base unit device. For Active Guardian, the all-in-one mobile pendant device comes with GPS tracking. With GPS tracking, the location of the user is automatically transmitted to the monitoring center whenever an emergency alert is issued. This allows the monitoring specialist to know where to send help to even if they were unable to speak with the device user. To supplement GPS tracking, Active Guardian comes with wifi tracking as well (see below).
Besides using GPS for locations tracking, the Active Guardian pendant also comes equipped with wifi locations tracking or WPS (wifi positioning system) technology. WPS pinpoints specific locations by using wifi hotspots footprint data. Current GPS technology works well on its own but it may be less sensitive in indoor environments. Having data from both systems increases the speed and accuracy when pinpointing the location of the mobile alert device. The device user is not required to have wifi enabled at home to use their Active Guardian device.
Automatic Fall Detection
Active Guardian can be upgraded to include automatic fall detection. The Active Guardian mobile device is fitted with sensors that can automatically detect falls and place an emergency call without the elderly user pushing the help button manually (learn more). In comparison, Mobile Guardian does not have fall detection sensors built into it.
The cost of a Medical Guardian mobile GPS alert system starts at $39.95 per month for Mobile Guardian. This includes use of the equipment, including the portable handheld base unit device, charging cradle and bracelet/pendant button. Active Guardian costs $49.95 a month. This includes the use of the button pendant and charging cradle. All mobile alert system subscriptions include wireless cellular service for the emergency calls. No separate cellular subscription is needed.
As a comparison, Mobile Guardian costs $10 more than Medical Guardian’s standard home medical alert service. When you think about it, for seniors who are out and about on their own a lot, the $10 a month difference can be worthwhile. The extra protection is there and available when the elderly user takes a walk out of the home or traveling.
Separately, many homes are doing away with a traditional home phone line. With these mobile GPS systems, there is no worry about having to pay for a home phone line every month.
The company offers a free month of service for users who subscribe on an annual basis. The works out to around $36.62 a month for a Mobile Guardian alert system.
There are no long term contract obligations or termination fees. The company offers a 30-day money back guarantee. Following that, Medical Guardian will make pro-rated refunds for months prepaid but unused after the first 45 days of service. To qualify for any refunds, all equipment received must be returned to the company in undamaged condition. Pro-rated refunds is an important feature for users who are pre-paying on a quarterly or annual basis.
Mobile Guardian Alert System
The Mobile Alert system comes with a portable medical alert base device, a charging cradle, carrying case and either a wristband/bracelet or neck pendant.
Portable Base Device & Charging Cradle
The portable handheld base device will call and connect to the monitoring center whenever the help button is pressed. The device measures 3.5″ x 2.1″ x 0.75″ and weighs 2.4 oz. This base unit comes with an emergency button, speaker and microphone. It also has several useful indicator lights, such as battery and GPS indicators to let users know that the device is functioning normally. The device is not water-resistant, unlike the neck pendant or bracelet that it pairs with.
Waterproof Bracelet Or Neck Pendant
The bracelet and neck pendant houses the emergency help button. The buttons are waterproof and can be worn in the bath or shower. They have an average battery life of 2 years, very much like the help buttons of any standard home medical alert system.
The waterproof wristband or neck pendant is a great feature, as it ensures that senior users have protection all the time even in showers. At the same time, the long battery life avoids the hassle of needing to constantly recharge the help buttons daily or weekly.
The emergency button bracelet or pendant can be worn both in and out of the home. When out of the home, wearing the bracelet or pendant can make it easier to activate an alert without having to reach for the portable unit.
Active Guardian Alert System
Active Guardian comes with an all-in-one alert button device, charging cradle and neck lanyard. The all-in-one alert button incorporates all technologies needed for the system to function: cellular calling, speaker, microphone, GPS tracker, Wifi tracker and fall detection sensors.
The button device is designed to be small and light enough to be worn around the neck with a lanyard. It measures 2.7″ x 1.7″ x .7″ and weights 2 oz.
Wireless Cellular Connection
Emergency alert calls are made through the AT&T wireless cellular network. Whether at home or far from home, a solid wireless cellular connection is needed for the mobile alert system to work.
This wireless connection and SIM card comes with your mobile device. The cellular service is provided as part of the monthly subscription fees. There is no further requirement to subscribe to any sort of home phone line or cell phone line for the system to work. Even if you have a personal phone plan in place, there is no option to connect your mobile alert system to it.
The Mobile Guardian device has a blinking indicator light that show the strength of the wireless cellular connection. This is a really useful feature. Users can confirm that their device is on standby and service is available where they are at. In addition, whichever medical alert system you choose, it is always a good idea to make test calls periodically to verify that the connection and alert device works.
Installation is done through a really simple self-installation process. The critical step is that the charging cradle needs to be connected to a power source to charge up the device batteries. After that, users are asked to follow through with steps to test and activate the system. If there are any questions, users can call a toll-free support number.
Since the systems do not need a landline connection to function, there is no added step of connecting to a phone jack or answering machine that is sharing the same phone line.
The range of a regular home medical alarm describes the maximum distance between the pendant or bracelet (ie. emergency help button) and the base unit for an alert signal to be successfully transmitted. This concept is only applicable to systems with a base unit that is placing the call and a separate transmitter help button to initiate a call on the base unit.
As Active Guardian is a single all-in-one pendant unit, it works everywhere without range restrictions. Similarly there is no range restriction associated with Mobile Guardian portable mobile base device if you are not using a separate transmitter button. As long as the mobile device is with you, you can push the emergency call button on the device to start a call. At home, if you are using a separate transmitter help button, there is a maximum range restriction.
In-Home System Range Up To 350 Feet
The Mobile Guardian alert system has a range of up to 350 feet between its emergency help button and portable base unit. This is more than sufficient for most homes, where the distance between one end of the home (including peripheral areas) to the other end is much less than 350 feet.
Since the quality of the remote activation is dependent on other environmental factors besides distance, we advise users to test their systems out from various parts of their homes, especially from areas where they frequent or are most at risk (eg. bathrooms).
Outside The Home – Works Everywhere There Is Good Cellular Coverage
Outside the home, these mobile alert systems will work anywhere there is good cellular coverage. It is not limited by a certain range, eg. a radius of 300 feet or 1,000 feet. There are no range restrictions if the user is pressing the emergency call button directly on the Mobile Guardian base unit or Active Guardian pendant. This is because there is no wireless remote alert signal being sent to the base unit through a separate bracelet or pendant transmitter.
If the elderly user has the portable base unit in their pocket or purse, the traditional range number really does not have much impact. If they are activating a call through a neck pendant and the portable base unit is in their purse, the distance is usually just a few feet away or less. This is well within the 350 feet max range for activation by remote control.
Mobile Guardian’s portable base unit is carried around when the elderly user is out and about. When they return home, the unit should be returned to the charging cradle. According to specifications, each full charge takes about 2 hours. When fully charged, the battery will last up to 24 hours on standby. This is designed to be sufficient for most day uses.
For Active Guardian, the pendant can last up to 5 days on standby with each full charge. The unit takes 3 hours to fully charge. According to Medical Guardian, Active Guardian has the “longest battery life of any portable medical alert device” currently.
Both Mobile Guardian and Active Guardian are equipped with low battery indicator lights to show when power is low. This is a reminder to have the device charged soon. With cellular medical alert units, how long a charge will last can vary from the usual. It depends on factors like the strength of the cellular signals, device life and settings. Therefore, it is important to pay attention to the power indicator light on your device and have it recharged before it runs out of power.
For seniors or their children looking into a suitable mobile alert system with GPS, Medical Guardian has two thoughtful and well-designed systems in their product line. Both Mobile Guardian and Active Guardian are quality systems that offer their users medical alert protection both at home and outside, whether they are taking a walk nearby or far from home.
To access Medical Guardian’s monitoring service soon, you can start with the system you consider to be more fitting to your or your parent’s needs, lifestyle and budget. If you are unsure or have further questions, contact a Medical Guardian consultant at 1-800-311-6142.
Disclosure: We receive referrals commissions for purchases made (details).
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 and speak with their representatives.