Medical alert systems in BC: Is there an independent source that compares emergency response systems available in Canada?

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Is there an independent source that compares emergency response systems available in Canada?

Question

Is there an independent on-line source that gives comparisons and ratings of medical alert systems (e.g. Phillips Lifeline, Life Assure, Telus Living Well) available in Canada, specifically BC?

Our answer

Unfortunately, we have been unable to identify an online source that appropriately addresses the medical alert systems available in BC. Comparisons made by Consumer Affairs and Consumer Reports review devices available within the US. The majority these products rely on service from American telecommunications companies, such as Verizon or AT&T, and thus would not be appropriate for use in Canada.

We have put together some relevant information below that you may wish to explore:

  • In a previous question that came to Ability411 we compiled information on several medical alert systems that feature fall detection. We can provide information like this to you if you would like to indicate any features that are important to you. If you are unsure about which type of medical alert system would be a good fit, you might like to read this article from the AARP, How to Choose a Medical Alert System.
  • Phillips Lifeline, Apple Watch 4 and Medical Alert Systems Canada is a blog post by Eldercare Home Health that provides some information on Medical Alert Systems available in Ontario. The article also introduces some features to help you determine what would be a good fit. The post mentions that they also ‘..could not find any specifically Canadian, objective reviews of medical alert systems.’
  • The Best Medical Alert Systems With No Monthly Fee by Assisted Living Today is an article comparing devices that do not have a monthly fee. This includes devices that would only signal within the home, and devices that are programmed to call 911, or one number or a series of numbers when the button it pressed. Unlike products with monthly fees, these products do not connect to a monitored call centre. These devices usually connect through one or a combination of connection types - landline phone service, Wi-Fi or a Bluetooth connection to a smartphone. A few products will instead connect to 911 wherever there is connection to a cell tower – which is a free service. Since they don’t have a service associated with them many of these devices will work in Canada and can be ordered online.

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