Medical Alert Systems With GPS And Fall Detection

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), “up to 95 percent of hip fractures are caused by falls and these falls can result in shattered bones and head traumas not to mention an increase in the dread of falling again.”

It is important to note that falls can happen at any age, but the risk of falling rises as we become older and even falls that do not result in harm might have a psychological impact. Seniors over the age of 65 have also been discovered to be very prone to falls with over a quarter of all seniors over the age of 65 experiencing falls each year.

Many people as they grow older, tend to want to keep an independent and active lifestyle but in order to do this successfully, safety must be guaranteed. Investing in a medical alert system is one of the best methods for seniors to enjoy their independence at home and on the go.

Medical Alert System

A medical alert system (also known as a personal emergency response system (PERS)) provides a quick and easy means for the elderly, individuals with health problems, and people who live alone to get assistance in an emergency, whether it’s a medical emergency, a fall, a fire, or any other situation that demands rapid attention.

There are generally two types of medical alert systems offered by medical alert system providers. They include:

  • In-home medical alert systems
  • Mobile (on the go) medical alert systems

How Do Medical Alert Systems Work?

Medical alert systems provide emergency monitoring both inside and outside the home. They are designed to notify a monitoring center that medical intervention is needed. The monitoring center then assesses the situation and dispatches emergency responders. They can also notify caretakers and family members if necessary.

Medical Alert Systems With Fall Detection

Fall detection devices leverage technology to identify and provide immediate help to seniors in cases of falls. Medical alert devices with fall detection allow users to seek assistance without pressing the call button. That is, if the user falls, the fall is detected by sensors that automatically open up the two-way communication channel connecting to an emergency response center so as to allow users to get help from emergency responders (automatic fall detection). This is especially useful in situations where the user is unable to press the panic button due to one reason or the other after the fall.

The typical in-home medical alert system consists of a speakerphone device and a portable (wearable) panic button. The speakerphone device can be connected to your existing landline. The portable panic button can be worn as a pendant or on your wrist like a watch. It is nearly waterproof making it useful in baths and wet weather conditions. Depending on the medical alert system provider and the device purchased, the panic button may or may not have a fall detection system.

The mobile medical alert system is designed to provide maximum comfort while on the go. It is usually very portable for ease of movement. In addition to having a two-way connection with an emergency response center (just like the in-home medical alert systems), the mobile medical alert systems also have fall detection systems for improved users’ safety.

GPS Medical Alert Systems

The majority of In-home medical alert systems do not have GPS (global positioning system) technology. This is because although useful, GPS technology is usually not needed since the in-home medical alert system is designed to be “stationary”. That is, the monitoring centers already know the location of your house so there is no need for GPS tracking.

Mobile medical alert systems on the other hand are usually fitted with both cellular and GPS technology. This is to allow for real-time location tracking of users since the mobile medical alert systems are designed for use outdoors and on the go. The GPS receiver allows monitoring centers to easily determine the precise location of users in cases of emergencies. This allows the monitoring center to know the precise location to direct emergency dispatch to.

The Global Positioning System (GPS) can also be used by family members to monitor the movements of their loved ones particularly in cases where there are certain locations they don’t want them going into (for safety reasons). In these cases, the GPS locator can be set to automatically detect the location of the loved one and contact family members on the occasion that they move out of the “safe zone”.


Overall, GPS technology and fall detection systems are very useful additional safety features to have in your medical alert system. You should note however that the inclusion of these additional features may result in an increase in the overall cost of your medical alert system. You should also be aware that these features are not included in all medical alert systems so you should make sure to confirm from your medical alert system provider if they are included in your subscription.


4 thoughts on “Medical Alert Systems With GPS And Fall Detection”

    • Hi Cindy – it depends on which bracelet you go with as each company has different sizes. Best bet is to call the company and ask them about their sizes. Most will have adjustable sizes that should fit your mom. Weight wise you are looking at around 26 g.

  1. I look these up and gps only covers up to 1000 ft that’s not nearly enough, I go out on my scooter from downtown Chilliwack to wal-mart a distance of about 5 kilometres,
    Why don’t these work on a muck bigger range,

    • Hi Jo – you need to look at the GPS systems (On the GO). They use cellular networks and basically can go anywhere there is cell coverage. The in home systems are limited by range. Most around 1000 ft. Hope that helps.


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