Medical Guardian, Active Guardian: Review

Medical Guardian, Active Guardian

The Basics

Product name: Active Guardian 

Manufacturer / Distributor: Medical Guardian

Compilation: Q4 2018.

This page contains our Medical Guardian Active Guardian review.

 

 

Analyst Summary: Medical Guardian Active Guardian

This is a go anywhere mobile alert with fall detection. It is a direct competitor for the products we reviewed in our comparative evaluation of mobile medical alerts.

This is a rebranded version of the Belle+ made by wholesaler Freeus. It has a couple of noteworthy features, in addition to those typical for products in this class.

  • it includes both GPS location technology and WiFi location technology, which might make it more accurate in knowing where you are at all times (we have not tested this);
  • it claims a battery life of 5 days, which is definitely longer than most of the competitors.

 

Update Q2 2019: 

This product is currently one of our top picks in the mobile medical alert category.

 

 

Hands-on Testing

Written By: Tech-enhanced Life webmaster.  Last Updated: May 16 2019 - 2:59pm.

 

We acquired this product (the Freeus Belle+, rebranded as the Active Guardian*) and evaluated it over several weeks, as we have done with many of the competing products.

We tested this product at the same time as the Lively Mobile. Both products have similar features. Both performed well. 

 

 

 

 

Freeus Belle+ and Lively Mobile
Left: Lively Mobile; Right: Freeus Belle+ (rebranded as Active Guardian)

 

 

 

 

Here are the key findings.

  1. In our tests, battery life was roughly 4.5 days. This is noticeably longer than most other products with similar characteristics, which usually have battery life of around 1.5 days. This may well make a difference, depending on your lifestyle, and would be the primary reason to choose this specific product over similar competing products.
     
  2. Location capability seemed quite similar to the Lively Mobile, and quite similar to the other mobile medical alerts we have tested. In other words, the product mostly knew where we were to within a house or two, and almost always to within a block. We thought that the fact it had WiFi locating capability might make it superior, but there was no sign of this in our tests.
     
  3. The Active Guardian / Belle + is a bit larger than the Lively Mobile. You can see the picture below. It is also a bit heavier (2.4 oz vs 1.4oz). It did not feel especially big and clumsy, but the difference in size and weight was somewhat noticeable.
     
  4. In daily useage the product has several small lights that flash periodically. So does the Lively Mobile, but the Lively lights are a little less obtrusive. Both products make it pretty clear you are wearing a "medical alert".
     
  5. This product is easy to charge. You just drop it into a simple charger.
     
  6. The marketing literature describes the product as "highly water resistant" and says you can wear it in the bath or shower.

 

 

 

*The Freeus Belle+ product we acquired was bought on Amazon, and was sold by a company called LifeStation (rebranded as the LifeStation Premium Mobile). The actual device is the same as is sold by Medical Guardian as the Active Guardian. But the monitoring service was provided by LifeStation.

We found LifeStation quite difficult to deal with. For example, to activate the product we needed to make multiple calls to the customer servce center. These calls were never answered. Instead we had to leave messages and then wait to be called back. So, we don't recommend buying the product from LifeStation, and if you like the sound of this Freeus Belle+ product, we recommend buying the Active Guardian from Medical Guardian

Medical Guardian's response center has already been tested in a number of our other reviews and is good, although with slower response times than GreatCall.

 

 

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Product Line & Company: Medical Guardian

Medical Guardian sells an example of each of the major types of medical alert systems — except for an App for your smartphone. The company is frequently near the top of various online review sites.

For in home use they have the traditional systems with either cellular or landline connection to the responders. They offer an example of an out and about system that has an accompanying mobile base station. And the new "Premium Guardian is an example of a go-anywhere pendant that does not require a mobile base station, but which can communicate directly from the pendant to the responders (via cell signal). .........Read more

 

About this Research

This product review is part of an extensive series of medical alert system reviews of over 50 products, including hands-on evaluation and real-world testing of the most promising ones, in real-world situations.

These reviews and analyses are part of our Research Project designed to help older adults and their families Choose the Right Medical Alert System for THEM — the result of which is our Medical Alert Systems: Selection Guide.

We have tried hard to make this research as independent and objective as possible. It has not been funded or sponsored by any of the vendors of these products, and includes no advertising or "sponsored content". The team that conducted this research has strong scientific, clinical, and aging services backgrounds. You can read more about the team that did this research at the links above. 

 

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Discuss, Comment, Ask Questions

Comments

 

from Bev I. (unverified) at Jul 22 2019 - 10:38am

Does the Medical Guardian-Active Guardian have a wrist device, or only the pendant?  I am researching for  my sister, and she prefers a wrist activation device.  She fits the some care persona (D), and is cognitively fine.  

Also, how long does this device take to charge?   While it's charging, it would likely be out of her reach, if a caretaker does the charging.  

 

from Richard-Caro (member) at Aug 5 2019 - 9:23am

Hi Bev: The pendant is as illustrated in the photo above. You could probably attach it to your wrist, but I dont think that would work well, and the fall detection algorithm would likely not work in that mode. If you want a wrist model you would be better off with one of the other products we recommend.

Re charging time, that is a good question. I dont remember exactly. However for most of these types of product they seem to charge in 2-3 hours, and that would be my guess.

To be certain about these questions, I would double check with the company.