Medical Alert Systems Optimal Range | 101 Guide
Medical alert system is a great solution for seniors living alone and those with health problems that prevent them from living independent lives. Each medical system comes with equipment necessary for monitoring the user who is using the medical alert service.
The most common pieces of equipment include the base unit, and the wearable pendant. The wearable pendant is carried by the user at all times, and it features a help button allowing the user to press the button when he needs help. The help button sends the signal through the base station which then automatically establishes connection with the call center. (Some systems are mobile and there is only a single pendant that is both the base station and the help button. Those systems use cellular network to establish the connection and can be used anywhere where there is cellular network coverage. Most common networks among medical alert systems are AT&T and T-Mobile)
However, in order for help button to be able to send the signal to the base unit, the person has to be within the range of the base unit. This means that the base unit has a certain range inside which it can detect the signal once the user presses the button. This is defined in the technical specifications of the service by each medical alert company, so the user knows in advance what the range of the equipment is.
This is very important to know, as when the user is outside the range, the signal will not be sent once the user presses the help button, and connection with the call center will not be established, which means that the user will not be able to get the help he needs.
Knowing the range of the device helps the users to place the base station in the central position of the house, so that the help button is within range even when the user walks around the house and stays in different rooms of the house.
Common Range Specification
The most common range specification we are seeing with the medical alert companies is somewhere around 200-400 ft (some systems may even reach to 1500 ft). It is important to note that the specified range is not a guarantee that the help button will work anywhere within the specified area. This is because companies usually measure operating range in open air conditions. This means direct connection from A to B without any obstacles. In reality, this means that the range of your help button will greatly depend on the configuration of your home and building materials. If your home is made from thick concrete, you have a lot of appliances or there are lots of obstacles that a signal must pass through when reaching the base station from another room – then the range will be significantly diminished.
All medical alert companies require their users to test the range of the help button when they get the system. This is to insure the system will work from every room in the home. Most of the medical alert systems will have a range that is really good and the help button should also work even from outside of the home, all depending on the type of system and the quality of equipment. If you have a big house or would like to have a medical alert system that works in the garden for example, look for a system that has an appropriate, long range rating. Some companies also offer range extender add-on units. These units extend the range of the base station allowing long range use of the help button.