Medical Alert Recommendations: "Go, Go" Persona

This page contains specific medical alert recommendations for a specific type of person: one that fits a "persona" we call the "Go, Go" persona. These recommendations were updated in Q1 2019.

If you are not sure if this is the right persona for you, start at our Medical Alerts: Just Tell Me What to Buy page (or review all the Medical Alert Personas).

 

The "Go, Go: But At Risk" Persona (Persona A)

This is the person who is very active physically, and mentally alert, but has reached an age where there are significant risk factors that make events like falls or stroke either more likely, or potentially more dangerous, than in someone younger. A good example might be someone with osteoporosis who is at increased risk of suffering a hip fracture if they fall.

The person represented by this persona is generally just fine. The purpose of a medical alert system for this persona is really in case adverse events (falls, stroke, heart attack) happen.

For this persona, a big function of these systems is to alleviate the anxieties of the friends and family — who worry about the senior, and what happens to that person in between visits and phone calls. Also, often people with this persona will start to get a little nervous about “what would happen if …”, and then a medical alert system might be a useful solution to reduce those worries.

 

Medical Alerts for the Go, Go Persona

 

The big picture

For this persona, it is very likely that a “go anywhere” emergency response system (a mobile medical alert) will be more appropriate than an “at home” system, as the person is likely out and about quite a lot. If the individual likes to go off on walks alone, or otherwise is out and about by him or herself, this type of mobile medical alert system would be especially relevant. (Not sure what these terms mean? See our Tutorial: The Basics of Medical Alert Systems.)

Often, someone with this persona will care more about the aesthetics of the product than might someone with one of the more at risk personas. It will be especially important to think about a system that the person is actually likely to wear.

Finally, some of the more concierge-like features of a medical alert system might appeal to someone with this persona — who might see it as useful in more diverse circumstances (e.g. in case of a roadside emergency) rather than solely as a “medical alert”).

So, for most people with this persona, we think one of the products in the "Mobile Alerts (Go Anywhere category" or the Smartwatch as Medical Alerts category make the most sense.

We do not usually recommend a product that only works at home for people with this persona.

As always there are specific circumstances that need something different. For example, some Go, Go people tell us they really only care about using a product like this when they are at home alone. They just don't think they need it when they are out and about. We don't think this is the best choice for most people in this persona, but if this is how you think, then you would be better off choosing one of the many "at home only" products (use the Selection Tool to find them here).

 

Will You Wear It?

There is a lot of discussion about which medical alert is more "perfect". But in many ways, what matters most, especially for this persona, is whether people will actually wear the product.

With the advent in 2018 of a robust group of "smartwatches that function as medical alerts", we think a critical decision for this persona is whether to choose a "smartwatch medical alert" or a more conventional "mobile medical alert".

At present, we think the best of the "mobile medical alerts" are somewhat more "perfect" than the best of the smartwatch breed.

However, we think many people with this persona are much more likely to routinely wear their smartwatch, and we believe a "perfect" product that lives in your bedside drawer is less useful than a good but not perfect product that you actually wear.

So, as you look at the recommendations below, think hard about whether you will or will not wear the product. It is especially important to wear it at times like when you are in the bathroom or shower, as that is when many accidents happen.

 

Specific Recommendations

The Go, Go Persona has several "sub-personas". Pick the sub-persona below that best fits you, and see what we reccommend.

NOTE: We are intentionally limiting this page to "recommendations" without too much about the background or testing. If you want to see all the gory details, view the two "Best of Breed" articles: "Mobile Alert Systems: Comparison Testing", and "Smartwatch as Medical Alert?". If you want to pick your own features and see which products match them, visit our Selection Tool.

The specific products we recommend are mentioned in the text below. Then in the sidebar, and at the bottom of the page, you can see links to our more detailed reviews of those products, and links that send you to the company's page where you can buy them if you wish.

 

Safety Above All (Sub-Persona A4):

Safety above all. Don't care how it looks. Don't want a smartwatch anyway.

Some people who are shopping for medical alerts care above all that it works flawlessly as a medical alert, and don't care how it looks. They have no problem wearing a conventional medical alert pendant at all times, even if it may sometimes appear bulky, ugly, or stigmatizing.

People who fit this sub-persona often say things like "I am beyond caring about how things look. I want it to keep me safe and that is all that matters."

If a person fits this category, and also has no desire whatsoever to have smartwatch capabilities like step counting, or the weather on their wrist, then in our opinion they are not the right fit for any of the "smartwatch as medical alert" products. Instead they would be best served by a more conventional mobile medical alert.

Here is what we recommend within the mobile medical alert category (more details at "Mobile Alert Systems: Comparison Testing").

If you want a single, simple, go-anywhere pendant, and don't mind charging it each night, we recommend either the GreatCall Lively Mobile Plus (currently unavailable) or the Philips Lifeline GoSafe (or GoSafe 2).

If you want a single, simple, go-anywhere pendant, but want a longer battery life (weekly charging) we recommend the Philips Lifeline GoSafe 2.

If charging the pendant once a week worries you, and you don't mind having two things to take with you when you go out (or you don't need fall detection and you want the rather nice, small, watch-style button in the very top image on this page) then we recommend the MobileHelp Duo product. [You can also buy the same product from LifeFone, where it's called the LifeFone At-Home & On-the-Go GPS].

If you have bad cell phone reception in your house, then you want a base station and you would choose either the Philips Lifeline GoSafe or the MobileHelp Duo.

In choosing between the Lively Mobile Plus and the GoSafe or GoSafe 2, price is a factor. In addition, we think the extra services of the Lively Mobile Plus and its lifestyle focus and decent appearance will appeal strongly to one group of people. And the Lively Mobile Plus has the fastest response time.

For those who don't want the extra services of the Lively Mobile Plus, don't care about the price or the medical appearance of the GoSafe / GoSafe 2, and want as near perfection of emergency response as possible (except for response time), then we would recommend the Philips Lifeline GoSafe (or GoSafe 2).

 

Note: As of May 2019 the Lively Mobile Plus is "unavailable" due to some product quality issues. For most people, the best alternate will be the Philips Lifeline GoSafe 2. If you want to broaden your search, the Active Guardian, from Medical Guardian, is also very good, although not our top pick.

 

Thinks Medical Alerts are ugly. Don't care about smartwatch features. (Sub-Persona A3):

I am very reluctant to wear a conventional medical alert at all times, and out in public. But I don't care much about smartwatch features.

For you, the Freedom Guardian (from Medical Guardian) might be the right answer. It is by far the simplest of the "smartwatch" group of products, resembling most a conventional medical alert designed to be worn on the wrist, and to look like a watch. It has weather, but lacks step counting and most other smartwatch features.

You do need to make sure the Freedom Guardian is sufficiently stylish for you however. It scored lowest in terms of stylish appearance in our Longevity Explorer show and tell sessions.

The downside compared to a conventional medical alert is the lack of a fall detection algorithm. But we think it is better to wear a product like this, than to have the "perfect" conventional medical alert that you keep at home in your bedside table because you don't like to wear it.

 

Care about being stylish. Like the idea of a smartwatch (Sub-Persona A2):

I really like the idea of having some "smartwatch features" like the weather or step counting. I care about looking stylish. I am not sure I would really wear a conventional medical alert out in public.

And, you think a relatively bulky smartwatch like the MobileHelp Smart would be compatible with your personal aesthetic.

In this case we think the MobileHelp Smart is an excellent choice. It has the basic smartwatch features. It's pretty easy to use. We think it is stylish, although not all our Longevity Explorers agreed. And it does not have an overwhelming array of features. 

The downside compared to a conventional medical alert is the lack of a fall detection algorithm. But we think it is better to wear a product like this, than to have the "perfect" conventional medical alert that you keep at home in your bedside table because you don't like to wear it.

 

Apple Watch Fan (Sub-Persona A1):

I already have an Apple Watch and love it. Why do I need yet another gadget to put on each day?

This one is easy. You already have an Apple Watch, and thus you presumably don't have a problem mastering its relative complexity, reading its small screen, taking care of charging it, and such like factors. And the fact you have the product already suggests you value some of its specific smartwatch features. You may also value the statement made by having this desirable consumer gadget.

The big question for this person is whether they feel a need for a monitored solution, or are happy with the idea that when they call for help it just calls 911. The person also needs to weigh up how important an automatic fall detection algorithm is.

The choices are:

  • fall monitoring algorithm, but an unmonitored service (calls 911 directly): The Apple Watch, with built-in Emergency SOS App.

OR:

  • no fall monitoring algorithm, but a monitored service in which the alert can at your choice go either to a professional monitoring service or to members of your care circle: FallCall Lite App (on the Apple Watch).

 

Need A Different Persona?

Medical Alerts: Just Tell Me What to Buy!

 

 

Buying these Products

Below are links to our "review" page for each of these products, on which are a lot more details about our evaluation. Below are also links to the company's websites, where you can acquire the products if you wish.

 

 

Learn More / Buy

Apple Watch as Medical Alert

Apple Watch as Medical Alert

MobileHelp Smart

MobileHelp Smart Medical Alert

Philips Lifeline, GoSafe

Philips Lifeline, GoSafe: Review

Philips Lifeline, GoSafe 2

Philips Lifeline GoSafe 2

FallCall Lite + Apple Watch

FallCall Lite Medical Alert

LifeFone, At-home & On-the-Go GPS

LifeFone, At-home & On-the-Go: Review

Medical Guardian, Active Guardian

Medical Guardian, Active Guardian

Medical Guardian, Freedom Guardian

Freedom Guardian Medical Alert

MobileHelp, Duo

MobileHelp Duo

GreatCall, Lively Mobile Plus

Lively Mobile Plus

*Note: If you want to support our work, please use the links above if you want to buy yourself one of the products we explore on this page, as we (sometimes) get a small percentage of the sale from Amazon / the Manufacturer. We use this to support our research. It does not effect the price you pay.

Beyond this, we have no financial interest in the products discussed here, and this article is not sponsored or supported in any way by any product vendor. See How we Fund our Work.

 

 

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