What is a Medical Alert System and how do they work?
A medical alert system, also know as a Personal Emergency Response System(PERS) is a system that sends an alert out in the event of a fall, fire, or other emergency. The user typically has a wireless button or pendant that they push which sends a signal out to a monitoring station, who in turn send the authorities to help. A basic system has a base station that uses your land line or a cellular dialer to get the signal to the monitoring station. The user needs to be within a certain distance, typically about 500-1000 feet, for their wireless button to work. Other more advanced systems use GPS and let the user carry and use their button anywhere.
How much do they typically cost?
With this new technology coming out, along with a lot of our population getting up there in age, has lots of companies offering these services. Unfortunately, they aren’t cheap. Typically these systems have monthly fees for monitoring, which starts at about $25 monthly, and can get up to around $50 depending on what system you sign up for. There also may be set-up or device fees up front as well, depending on the system.
What other options are available?
I know that a lot of people who need these systems simply can’t afford to pay 300-600 dollars or more per year for the monitoring. A lot of times they are elderly and are on a fixed budget so money’s tight. They simply want a notification to go to their children and significant others phones instead of the ambulance or police right away. The good news is, there are other no fee options available if you don’t mind spending a bit of time watching the video above and seeing how I do one of these installs. I’m a security technician, but it’s really not rocket science we are dealing with. If you can follow my lead, in about an hour you can have your own no fee medical monitoring system that reports to one or more smart phones if the buttons are pushed in an emergency.
What do I need to get a system up and running?
The method in the video uses a standard DSC security system with wireless capabilities. These systems are very popular and have been what I have been installing for many years for residential and commercial installs. There are many different types of wireless devices that these systems can handle, although what we’ll be using is a single button key fob that will be set up to send a medical out when the button is pushed.
The only hardware we’ll need to get this up and running is:
– The main DSC 1616 panel, or the brains of the system, and the accessories that come with it.
– A RFK5501 keypad which has a wireless receiver built in to it.
– An Eyez-on EVL-4CG internet module that will allow us to get a notification on our smart phone if the system sends out a signal.
– One or more single button key fobs that will send a signal out to one or more smart phones if they are pushed.
For the set-up, I demonstrate the process in the video above. Once we have our hardware, its as easy as mounting our panel, keypad and EVL module close to where the internet router is, as well as an electrical outlet. From there we’ll enroll our key fobs and set them to send out a medical alert if they are pushed. These key fobs are water resistant and have a wireless range of appx. 500-600 feet. Although you’ll want to make sure you test the range of the devices after they are set-up in case there is any interference cutting down the range a bit. For example, some metal sheeting or thick brick or concrete walls.
Once that hardware is set up, you can create an account with Eyez-on and get your smart phone set up to receive the signals in an emergency. Multiple phones and devices can receive the message as well.
Added advantages to this method
So that’s it, you have a very dependable, no fee, medical monitoring system for years to come. That should be a lot easier on your wallet than the alternatives with high monthly fees and should pay for itself within a year or so. Another added bonus is that since these DSC security systems can handle standard security devices as well, you already have most of the equipment you need for a professional security system for your home. Some available devices include door/window contacts, motion and smoke detectors, flood and CO sensors and many more. For more info on adding additional devices to make this a full security system, check out our other Posts or the Full Course if you really want to go in-depth.
We have a special kit available Here if you are interested in this hardware. This kit includes all the hardware, cabling, and connectors you’ll need to do one of these installs to save yourself some money in the long run.
If you have any questions or comments on this process ask them below and I’ll get back to you shortly.