The medical alert base station is the command center for the entire system. With the majority of systems, the base station resembles an answering machine. Base stations typically have a speakerphone on top for two-way communication, an emergency alert button, and a reset button.
Why the Base Station is Important
The base station puts you in contact with the medical alert company’s call center in the event of an emergency. The two-way communication speakerphone allows you and the operator to have a conversation, so the operator can decide what action they need to take on your behalf.
The base station makes the connection to the call center, whether you have a landline communication system, wireless system, or mobile system. You must have a base station to initiate calls to the medical alert company’s emergency center.
If you are using a wearable pendant or wristband, you can press the alert button and it will send a signal to the base station to initiate a call to the call center. If you do not have the base station or are out of range, the signal will not go through.
Types of Base Station Systems
There are three types of communication systems available: landline, wireless, and mobile. A landline communication system uses your stationary phone jack to plug into the base station. As long as you are within range of the base station with your pendant, you can call for help (or use the alert button on the top of the base station).
Wireless communication systems use base stations that simply plug into your electrical outlet and use a cellular carrier to contact the call center.
Mobile communication systems are carried with you and recharged frequently to maintain the battery life. You can charge the portable base, then either wear the base as a pendant or use the regular pendant or wristband that came with your system. With the portable base, you can always call for help and speak directly to the call center through the speakerphone. If you use the regular pendant or wristband, you need to be within 350 feet of the portable base. The mobile system uses cellular service to complete the call. Most mobile systems also include GPS tracking.
Common Features for All Base Stations
No matter which type of medical alert system you choose, the base station should consist of a two-way speakerphone and an easy-to-locate alert button. Some base stations also have a reset button. Check with the manufacturer about the battery backup life in the event of a power outage.