Systems with Automatic Fall Detection Alert | 101 Guide

All medical alert systems have a help button that a user can press in case of an emergency. With the age of 65 and over, the risk of falling increases dramatically. A fall can happen anywhere, in the home or outside of it.

Bathrooms are especially dangerous due to slippery surfaces. When a senior experiences a fall, consequences are very serious.

Those seniors who are living independent lives can get in a real trouble if they experience a fall and cannot get up. It is known that many times it happened for a person living alone to experience a fall in their home, and remain undiscovered for days. Those situations greatly diminish chances for successful recovery in the hospital (How to home-proof your house against falls? Read more »)

This is why a lot of medical alert companies offer fall detection pendants. Fall detection technology is built into the wearable help button. It uses sensors that can detect falls.

When a person wearing a fall detection pendant experiences a fall, the call for help is made automatically. There is no need to physically press the help button in this situation. This is important as sometimes the user, due to injuries, cannot press the help button. Also, the person might be unresponsive or lose consciousness. In those situations, the fall detection saves lives. It is known that there is a golden hour, a time window in which if the person gets medical assistance – the chances of successful recovery are significantly increased.

Fall detection automatically makes a call to the emergency call center in case of an accident that involves a fall. This means that the monitoring center of the medical alert company is aware of the accident, as soon as it happens and is able to take swift actions to provide medical assistance. This is why a lot of seniors choose to get this add-on for the home medical alert system (Compare medical alert systems with fall detection »).

There are only two downsides to using a fall detection system –

  1. The first one is that medical alert companies do not guarantee 100% precise fall detection. It is usually labeled as “detects 99% of falls” and has a disclaimer to it. This is because the fall detection pendant might not be able to detect all kinds of falls and accidents. Of course, the system is generally accurate and will work as intended, in most of the cases.
  2. The other downside is the cost. Fall detection systems are always a bit more expensive (Compare prices & plans here »).


So How to Find a Medical Alert System
With Fall Detection Alert Feature?

Fall detection is usually an add-on for the pendant itself, but not all systems sold by a certain company offer this functionality and support fall detection pendants. Fall detection comes at an added cost and it is usually charged on monthly basis. (Click here to compare between all the plans from all the medical alert companies).

Here are the Top 6 Pendants with Fall Detection Alert Technology available on the market today. For each one we have added the companies and system plans available. We hope it will help you with you choice.

Fall Detection Pendant | Type #1


A wearable help button that has the speaker and microphone built into it, and so there’s no need for a separate base station. You can go five days between charges with this item and use it to get help anywhere you go that has cellular coverage.

This type of mobile base unit is a small device, usually available in white or black color. The device has a help button located in the center of the front plate, with the speaker located above the button.

2-Way Communication – The base unit hardware supports two-way communication, which means that the device is used for both alerting the call center agents and communication.

Battery Life – The 5-day battery life is provided with all of the companies that offer this type of mobile device. The hardware comes with the charging station on which the device is placed when it needs to be recharged. It only takes 3 hours for this small cradle to fully charge the device.

Connection Type – The unit uses both built-in WiFi AND cellular network to operate (Usually AT&T), so there is no need for a landline. Since the system uses cellular network OR WiFi connection to operate, the device will be operational as long as there is network coverage.

GPS Tracking – This base station supports GPS tracking, which makes it a perfect on the go solution, as the call center agents will be able to detect the location of the user in need, even if the user is unable to communicate. In such cases, the call center agent can see the location of the user on the screen when the alert signal is sent, allowing the agent to help swiftly and dispatch the emergency service to the exact location where the signal from the pendant is detected.

Fall DetectionFall detection is supported by this system, but some companies include it as a part of the system price, while other companies offer it as an optional feature, available at an additional cost.

Available on – Below are the companies and plans which offer this type of pendant.

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Fall Detection Pendant | Type #2


This is the most common fall detection help button we can find on the market. The vast majority of the medical alert companies use these help buttons for their fall detection systems.

The pendant is teardrop shaped and has a large help button on it. Once user presses this button, a signal is sent to the base station that initiates an emergency call.

Fall detection pendants are usually meant to be worn as a necklace and a lanyard is provided.

A fall detection pendant has a fall sensing technology built in that can automatically detect falls.

These pendants usually come in white with the emergency button varying in color, depending on the company distributing the system.

There is a multi-color light on the face of the pendant that indicates current mode of operation. There will be a light indication when user presses a help button or a fall has been detected.

Waterproof – These pendants are waterproof and can be used while in the shower. Bathroom is where a majority of falls happen due to slippery surfaces. When a fall happens, pendant takes time to interpret the movement and then initiates an emergency call. The user does not need to manually press the button in this situation and it is possible to cancel the alert in case of mistake.

Reliability – It is important to note that none of the fall detection pendants can accurately detect 100% of falls, but they are usually very reliable. Pendants should be tested when first installing the system by dropping them on the ground to see if the fall has been detected.

Batteries – Batteries are in most cases replaced free of charge by the company offering medical alert service, and they usually last up to 2 years depending on the usage.

Available on – Below are the companies and plans which offer this type of pendant.

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Fall Detection Pendant | Type #3


Here we have another common fall detection pendant. This is a portable help button that has a fall detection technology built into it. The pendant is offered by many different companies and it is a popular choice among seniors as it can detect falls automatically.

The pendant has round edges, it comes in white and has a large blue help button on it. It is meant to be worn around the neck at all times and a lanyard is supplied. There is also a small light on the pendant that flashes in different colors when a help button is pressed or when a fall is detected automatically.

This fall detection pendant sometimes comes in a wristband option, and in that case a user can choose a white or black version of it.

When a pendant detects a fall, it initiates an emergency call to the monitoring center. Automatic fall detection can save lives, especially in situations when a person falls unconscious. Other times, it might not be possible to reach the button and press it manually to call for help.

Waterproof – The help button pendant is waterproof and easy to wear. For a medical alert service to be effective, the user needs to wear the pendants at all times.

Reliability – All medical alert companies state that none of the fall detection pendants can detect each and every fall. These pendants work well in most of the cases, but we cannot rely on automatic fall detection 100% of the time, so it is always recommended to press the help button manually when help is needed.

Batteries – Batteries last up to 2 years and are usually replaced free of charge by the medical alert providing the service.

Available on – Below are the companies and plans which offer this type of pendant.

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Fall Detection Pendant | Type #4


These are very popular pendants with companies offering on the go systems. This pendant supports automatic fall detection. The pendant hardware is at the same time a portable base unit. The styling is modern and the unit comes in white with a diamond shaped help button in the center. There is a built in speaker and microphone for two-way voice communication with the call center in case of an emergency.

It is worth noting that the hardware in this mobile pendant is the same with all the different companies, the only difference is the price and features offered by the company.

Some companies charge extra for the fall detection feature which means that the feature can be turned on and off by company technicians even though all devices support it.

Waterproof – The pendant is water resistant and has GPS tracking capability. This kind of pendant and medical alert system is great for those who need the fall detection inside and outside of their home.

Reliability – User needs to wear the device with a supplied lanyard or in some cases belt-clip, for automatic fall detection feature to work. None of the fall detection pendants can accurately detect 100% of falls, but they are usually very reliable.

Batteries – This mobile pendant has a 36-hour battery built in and needs to be charged regularly.

Available on – Below are the companies and plans which offer this type of pendant.

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Fall Detection Pendant | Type #5


GreatCall brings us a mobile help button pendant that is also a base station. This is an all-in-one device that supports automatic fall detection. Pendant is gray, with black sides and a central help button. There is also a two-way voice speakerphone built-in. This mobile pendant can be taken on the go and works anywhere where there is a cellular connection.

Waterproof – Yes.

Reliability – This pendant has sensors that allow it to detect when a person experiences a fall. As soon as the fall is detected, the device initiates a distress call automatically. This is exactly the same as if the user has pressed the help button manually. When a call is answered, the person in need can further explain the situation and ask for assistance. If the fall was bad, and the person has lost consciousness or is unable to respond, local emergency teams will be dispatched to the location immediately.

Batteries – The pendant has a 525 mAh battery that can provide power through the day. It needs to be charged on regular basis.

Available on – Below are the plans which the pendant is available.


Fall Detection Pendant | Type #6


Here we have a two-way voice communication pendant that comes with the Philips Lifeline systems. The button looks nice and stylish with rounded edges and gray help button at the top. This pendant also has an automatic fall detection feature built in and can be taken on the go.

When a user falls, the pendant will automatically place an emergency call and the user will be able to communicate right through the pendant via two-way voice functionality. This is an advantage over other systems which do not have a fall detection or two-way voice capability built into their pendants.

Waterproof – Yes.

Reliability – Fall detection is never guaranteed to detect 100% of falls, but if the device is worn according to instructions, the vast majority of the falls will be detected.

Batteries – The battery life of a rechargeable mobile help button pendant is up to 7 days.

Available on – Below are the plans which the pendant is available.



1 Comment
  1. Reply
    Barbara Bryan August 8, 2018 at 9:10 pm

    Is there any device that will detect a fall on the go as well as inside the house that works on some wireless other than AT&T. This wireless is not reliable inside my house..

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