Personal Emergency Response System: Types & How to Choose the Best Option

AllsWell Team

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Are you concerned about your security? Would you like to have an application that notifies emergency contacts you are in trouble? Personal emergency response systems can do it.

PERS devices and applications connect users to an emergency response center or selected contacts. When the person clicks the panic button, the response system automatically delivers the message or dials the emergency number. It enables the user to get help in risky and health-threatening situations.

The choice of a life alert emergency response system is a critical moment. Its technical capabilities and functionality will directly affect your security.

This article overviews personal emergency alert systems. Learn how PERS work, their types, and when you need one.

What is the Emergency Response System?

A personal emergency response system or PERS is a system that connects users with emergency services. When they push the panic button on the wearable device, it sends the corresponding signal to emergency response centers or emergency contacts. Standard PERS solutions consist of three elements: a small radio transmitter/wearable device, a console you connect to your smartphone, and a response center.

How Does a PERS Work?

A user wears the radio transmitter device around their wrist/neck or holds it in their hand. Since PERS solutions are small and lightweight, they are convenient to wear. Many of them are also waterproof, which adds additional reliability.

When an emergency occurs (the user falls, starts to faint, or faces another threat), they press the panic button to activate emergency alerts. The device sends a signal to the console connected to the user’s smartphone. The console processes the signal and automatically dials the selected emergency numbers. There are programmed contacts like 911 and custom ones you can add. The response center or emergency contact picks up the call or reads the message to understand what has happened and provide help. If the PERS supports GPS tracking, the recipient of the message can also check the location of the user in need. It allows them to instantly head for the necessary place if the situation is urgent.

Many modern personal security vendors replace physical PERS devices with mobile apps. So you don’t necessarily need a separate device to enjoy advanced security. You can download an iOS or Android application to your phone and get a mobile panic button. Discover more types of emergency response systems below.

Types of Emergency Alert Response Systems

The PERS medical alert system market is steadily growing. By 2026, it will reach $10.7 billion globally and become even more versatile. Since people have a different level of access to technology and personal needs, all kinds of solutions are popular. Here are the main types of emergency assistance alarm systems used:

Mobile personal emergency response systems

These are standard PERS systems that include a wearable device and console connected to an emergency response center. They can look like a locket, keychain, or any other small device with a panic button.

Cellular personal emergency response systems

Cellular systems have a slightly smaller coverage than mobile solutions. Hence, if you want to purchase such a device, make sure to double-check its coverage.

GPS-based solutions

PERS systems with location tracking show the real-time location of the user. While some monitor the user 24/7, solutions with advanced data privacy capture location only before sending alerts. For example, AllsWell’s app with GPS support activates tracking only for a 5-minute pre-alert period. It ensures user privacy and optimizes battery life.

Landline personal emergency response systems

This option is suitable for people that still use landline phones. Hence, it’s a great solution for seniors living alone. Landline PERS systems may also support mobile apps or wearables. Yet, to connect everything, you will need a phone jack anyway.

Mobile applications with emergency alerts

It’s the most advanced type of life alert emergency response system. You don’t need a physical device other than your smartphone to have the panic button at hand. Mobile applications offer a bunch of other useful features like inactivity monitoring, GPS tracking, or customizable alerts. You can choose an app that connects to an emergency response center or limit yourself to personal SMS notifications.

How to Know I Need a Personal Emergency Alert System

Not sure you need a personal response system? Although it can benefit any user, in some cases, life alert emergency response solutions are essential. For example, if you worry about the health of your loved ones or live in a dangerous area.

Use an emergency response system, if you:

  • Have chronic health issues or physical condition

  • Live alone or in a dangerous neighborhood

  • Stay at home a lot on your own

  • Frequently travel

  • Want additional personal security

  • Care for seniors who live alone and have health issues or are likely to fall

  • Concerned about the safety of your kids or teenagers and want to receive alerts from them

Overall, a personal emergency response system can come in handy in most risky situations, be it health issues or burglary. The main point is to choose a solution with suitable functionality and configure emergency contacts right. Then, the recipient will understand your message and take appropriate action.

What to Consider Choosing a Personal Emergency Alert System

The choice of a PERS medical alert system depends on several factors. You should count in installation type, technical characteristics of the device, emergency channels, and features.

#1. Hardware and type of connection

Since there are different types of personal emergency response systems, you need to mind your technical capabilities. If you don’t have a landline, landline PERS solutions are unsuitable. Similarly, if your mobile phone is outdated and doesn’t allow downloading an app, you cannot use an app-based PERS. Hence, we recommend researching the requirements of several PERS systems before choosing one.

#2. Technical characteristics of the device

You might want a waterproof or shockproof wearable device, for example. Then, you should request its technical characteristics from the provider. It allows you to make sure the system will keep working even when you go to the shower.

#3. Response center or alerts

Not all PERS systems connect you to the response center. Some of them send SMS alerts and push notifications to selected emergency contacts. In most cases, real-time alerts are enough for security, but it’s up to you what you choose.

#4. Panic button, inactivity monitoring, and GPS tracking

These are universal features. They allow the user to get help when they can press the panic button and when they can’t. For example, if the user loses consciousness, the inactivity monitoring feature will send an alert after the set time. It considerably increases the level of security PERS systems ensure.

AllsWell Application for Automated Emergency Alerts

AllsWell Alert is a personal safety & emergency alert app for people living, commuting, or traveling alone. It combines the panic button functionality with inactivity monitoring, enabling the app to send your emergency contact an alert with your location even when you cannot press a button.

Enjoy access to all the features for $10/month only, or start a 30-day free trial now.

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