MobileHelp Smart: Review
Product name: Smart
Manufacturer / Distributor: MobileHelp
Compilation: Q4 2018
This page contains our MobileHelp Smart review.
Analyst Summary: MobileHelp Smart
The MobileHelp Smart is one of several products we compared in a piece of research called "Smartwatch as Medical Alert". If you are interested in this category of product, we recommend you look at this comparative review.
The MobileHelp Smart represents a good middle ground in this category. It functions quite well as a medical alert, looks very stylish, and has some of the most essential features of a modern smartwatch.
It does have some limitations as a medical alert (see below).
If you want a medical alert that keeps you as safe as possible, don't mind wearing a conventional medical alert even if it looks ugly, and don't really care about having extra smartwatch features like step counting and the weather in your medical alert, then one of the more conventional products we compared in "Mobile Medical Alerts: Comparative Evaluation" might be more to your liking.
But beware. Even though it is easy to say "I want to be as safe as possible", the truth is many people purchase a medical alert but then don't wear it, because they don't like the way it looks and feels. If you think that might be you, this may be just what you need. Because even though it has some limitations (see below), because it is really "a stylish watch", we think you are more likely to wear this than more conventional medical alerts.
We really like the way this product looks. It is far from the ugly, stigmatizing, conventional medical alert to which we have become accustomed.
And by combining a medical alert, a watch, and functionalities like step counting, the weather, and heart rate monitoring into one product, you avoid needing to strap on multiple wearables each morning if these features are useful for you.
The product does not have an automatic fall detection capability. It relies on you to press the button to summon help. For some, this is a major weakness. We discuss this more in the comparative article "Smartwatch as Medical Alerts" linked to above.
In our testing it worked rather well most of the time. But it had one episode (out of 15) in which the audio on the watch failed to work, and so while our call for help went through, the responder was not able to hear us when they tried to talk with us.
In our hands-on exploration of this product by our Longevity Explorers, many of the women felt it was "too big" to wear comfortably. Most of the men thought its size was fine.
For lots more details about this product, including the topics below, we suggest you read "Smartwatch as Medical Device?".
In Smartwatch as Medical Device? we discuss topics including:
- can you wear it in the shower?
- ease of use;
- where it does and does not work;
- response time;
- how well it can locate you;
- any "failures to call for help" in our testing;
- how this category of medical alert smartwatch compares with more conventional medical devices; and
- features for caregivers (like knowing where the wearer is).
Here are some additional items not fully addressed in our comparative evaluation: Smartwatch as Medical Alerts.
The MobileHelp caregiving app, which you can access either on the web or in an app on your phone is simple, basic, and potentially rather useful.
We liked the approach to privacy. The wearer of the product (ie the older adult) can add people to the carer circle. And the older adult gets to choose various settings for each member of the carer circle relating to privacy.
In particular, you can set whether or not a given carer gets notifications of various sorts (eg when there is an alert), and you can set for each caregiver whether or not they can see your location.
For caregivers who have been given "view location" rights, they can ping your device to find out where you are if need be from the App.
This is very valuable for situations in which the older adult has cognitive impairment and might on occasion get lost.
This App puts the older adult in charge, which we think is how it should be. Now some older adults will want help getting this set up, and that is fine. But it is a subtle but important issue that it is the older adult who gets to make these sort of decisions.
Note: If you want to support our work, please use these links when you buy any of the products we write about, as we sometimes get a small percentage of the sale from the manufacturer, which we use to support our research. (This does not affect the price you pay). See How we Fund our Work.
Product Line & Company: MobileHelp
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.
Help Support our Research
We hope you found this work useful. If you like what we do, and would like to see it continue, please consider contributing time, ideas, or some funding to help support our work.
We are currently raising contributions from those who find our work valuable to complete some new research initiatives, all targeted at helping older adults live better for longer. And we are always looking for contributions of ideas about what to work on, or help executing some of our projects.
Discuss, Comment, Ask Questions
from John Milford (unverified) at Jun 17 2019 - 10:30am
I have been wearing a MobileHelp Smart watch for over three months and have tested the medical alert feature more than a few times, with always a prompt response from the call center. For that I give the product high marks. However, I am disappointed in the limited battery life as it sends me a low battery alert after about eight hours of use and discharges in ten hours. It seems that the health apps which are GPS based (step counter, floors climbed) are what is draining the battery - and I am active enough to like using them. Bottom line: I was advised to turn off the health apps, which succeeded in prolonging battery life - but now that the wearable's functionality is diminished, so is my enjoyment of it.