MediPendant is a monitored medical alert system offered through Medical Alarm Concepts, a company headquartered in King of Prussia, Pennsylvania. MAC’s founders set out to design and manufacture an innovative, user-friendly two-way voice medical alert pendant that provided consumers with an alternative to traditional help buttons.
Following extensive testing and product development, MAC launched the MediPendant, which the company claims is the world’s first monitored medical alert system to offer a speakerphone-equipped help button. This innovative design allows users to clearly hear and speak with the 24/7 monitoring center right through the wearable pendant, while many other in-home medical alert systems use a speakerphone in a base unit for two-way communication.
It’s important to note that while the MediPendant was the first two-way monitored personal emergency response pendant, there are now a number of other monitored medical alert companies offering a similar two-way pendant. MAC’s claim that MediPendant is “the only monitored medical alert system that allows you to speak and listen directly through the pendant,” is no longer accurate.
In this guide you’ll find all the information you need to decide if MediPendant could be the best medical alert system for yourself or your loved ones. We cover MediPendant costs and features along with the pros and cons of this pendant-based personal emergency response button.
MediPendant Medical Alert Device & Features
The MediPendant medical alert system is based on the MediPendant, a wireless, wearable medical alert pendant that’s equipped with a speaker. microphone and help button. It works within a 600-foot range of the base unit, which connects to either an existing landline phone or mobile phone network. The system is compatible with most VoIP phones, including Ooma, Vonage and AT&T’s U-Verse phone service.
MediPendant’s water-resistant help button is powered by a user-replaceable Li123 battery that’s widely available online and in local hardware stores. Pendant batteries are rated to last up to two years on standby and provide up to six hours of talk time, and the base station includes a backup battery that lasts up to 30 hours in a power outage.
There are also two small LED lights on the pendant — one that illuminates when the battery needs replacing and another that glows green when the pendant is within range of the base station. Users can wear the MediPendant on the provided lanyard, connect it to a belt clip or attach the wrist strap.
When a user activates their help button, the base unit automatically calls the MediPendant emergency monitoring center. A bilingual (English/Spanish) EMT-certified operator assesses the situation, dispatches emergency services as needed and stays on the line until help arrives. The monitoring center also contacts all the emergency contacts listed via phone or text messaging when the subscriber activates their help button.
MediPendant customers can choose between a quarterly, semiannual or annual service plan. The quarterly plan costs $104.85, which works out to $34.95 per month, while the semiannual plan costs $197.70, which is $32.95 per month.
The best value is the annual plan at a price of $359.40 ($29.95 per month), and this plan includes a free pin-protected lockbox and free shipping. Customers can pay via credit card, debit card or personal check. The equipment is included in the price of all plans, and there are no activation or cancellation fees.
AARP members qualify for a 10% discount on MediPendant monitoring fees.
Who Should Use the MediPendant Medical Alert System?
The MediPendant medical alert system is geared towards seniors who either live alone or spend part of their day at home by themselves. It’s designed to provide coverage throughout most homes and apartments, and it can even be used outside, making it ideal for seniors who like to garden or relax on the patio. The MediPendant requires virtually no maintenance as the batteries are non-rechargeable, so caregivers don’t need to worry about whether or not their loved ones remember to charge up the device.
Because the MediPendant device has an integrated speaker and microphone, this personal emergency response system is particularly well-suited for use by those who may suffer from mild hearing loss. It’s important to note that automatic fall detection isn’t available, and MediPendant only works within a 600-foot range of the base unit.
Pros and Cons of the MediPendant Medical Alert System
Choosing the right medical alert system can make all the difference when it comes to user compliance and response time in an emergency situation. Before you decide if MediPendant is the best medical alert system for your situation, be sure to review the pros and cons.
Pros of MediPendant:
- It’s water-resistant and safe for use in the shower
- MediPendant can be worn on a lanyard or on a belt clip
- Base unit backup battery lasts up to 30 hours in a power failure
- Free lockbox and free shipping with annual plans
- EMT-certified call center operators speak English and Spanish
- No activation fees
- Pendant alerts the user if they’re out of range
- Emergency operators stay on the line with callers until help arrives
- The pendant is equipped with a two-way speakerphone for clear conversations up to 600′ from the base unit
- Battery light on pendant alerts users when the battery needs changing or when the help button is out of range
- Device is simple to use
- Pendant battery is rated for up to two years, and the replacement battery is widely available at hardware stores and pharmacies
- Works with landline phones and most VoIP phone systems
- Cellular base unit is available
- Customers can cancel at any time without penalty
- Annual plans come with free shipping and a free lockbox
- AARP members qualify for a 10% discount on MediPendant service fees
Cons of MediPendant:
- Monthly fees are higher than some other monitored medical alert systems
- No fall detection, mobile service or GPS location tracking
- No caregiver app or online dashboard
- No medical alert smart watch
- No option to add wireless, wall-mounted help buttons
- Unclear where the monitoring center is located, or if there’s a back-up monitoring center
- Subscribers must pay for at least three months of service; no month-to-month option
- To get the lowest monthly monitoring rate, subscribers need to choose a plan with annual billing
- Free shipping and a free lockbox only provided with an annual prepaid plan
- The MediPendant device is too large to be comfortably worn on the wrist
- The range between the MediPendant help button and the base unit is impacted by power lines and other wireless devices, which may mean the actual range is much less that what is advertised
Although the MediPendant is specifically designed to meet the needs of seniors, it lacks many of the common features and options available through other medical alert companies, such as location tracking and automatic fall detection. That said, the MediPendant medical alert system does include a user-friendly help button that subscribers can use to call for assistance, and caregivers are notified immediately through an automated phone call or text message.
To learn more about the ever-growing options and services available for seniors who need a medical alert system, be sure to read more of our medical alert reviews.