Nest Secure Medical Alerts System Review - 2019
Nest Secure is a relatively new entrant to the home security market, which is both good and bad. The company invests in innovative solutions, but unfortunately overlooks some of the fundamentals. Its equipment is advanced and sleek, but Nest’s offer has several serious gaps, and the medical alert system is one of them. There is only one panic button on the base console, and you can’t directly customize it to stand for medical-only alerts. Nest Secure is not apt for families looking for basic medical alert features in their home security system.
Nest Secure equipment ships with a two-year limited warranty. If some component of your Nest Secure requires a replacement, the company provides it. But that would be the end of warranty for the said component. In other words, replaced devices don’t get a warranty. On the bright side, Nest designs and manufactures its hardware, so the looks and quality are top-notch.
Nest Secure base station, Nest Guard, is the brain of the system. Nest Guard has an embedded panic button at the back of its casing. Regardless of the alarm mode you have set – Off, Home and Guarding, or Away and Guarding – you can use the panic button to trigger an alarm.
Nest Guard initiates an audible alarm if the panic button is triggered. The specs sheets do not specify for how long you need to press the button to set off the alarm. It just says press and hold until the alarm sounds.
The Nest Guard’s light ring should turn red, and the siren should go off – a fairly straightforward confirmation your distress signal has been sent.
But if you release the button early, without the confirmation signal, your distress signal has not been sent.
If you self-monitor with Nest Secure, pressing the panic button triggers the system to send mobile notifications to everyone who has access to your home through the Nest app.
If you subscribe to one of the Moni-provided monitoring plans, the Alarm Response Center monitoring station needs to reach you first to confirm the nature of your alarm. Then, if necessary, the monitoring center dispatches help. If the station can’t reach you, it tries to reach the people on your emergency contact list and then sends police to your house.
Moni monitoring plans cover medical alerts, but the Nest Secure system lacks the necessary equipment to make medical alerts with professional monitoring functional. The disadvantages are glaring – there are no wearable panic buttons or standalone panic buttons you could attach to a wall near your bed. Nor is there a panic button on the keychain remote.
There is no keychain remote as such. The minimalist Nest Tags are lovely, but when it comes to evaluating their functionality, traditional key-enabled remotes you can program to have a panic button come out winning.
Nest Secure FAQs list the sensors that can trigger an alarm in different modes. For example, opening a window or detaching a power cable from Nest Guard triggers the alarm when the system is enabled. But none of the options on the list can be used for medical alarms, except for the panic button in the Nest Guard base.
It means, should a medical emergency occur, you need to:
- Rush to your base station to send a medical distress signal.
- Press it long enough to send the signal.
- Answer the phone and confirm the nature of your emergency.
- Or, wait till the monitoring station tries to reach your emergency contacts.
- If they don’t know the nature of your emergency, police will be dispatched.
Notably, the Nest app doesn’t offer a way to use it as a panic button either.
The basic kit of Nest Secure is $499. It bundles Nest Guard, two Nest Tags, and two Nest detect sensors. A Nest Cam will set you off $199, while additional sensors are $59 each.
Professional monitoring plans through Nest-Moni partnership is available in two subscriptions:
- $19/mo in a three-year contract
- $29/mo in a month-to-month subscription
Nest Secure also offers an additional cellular backup connection for $10/mo for your system to fall back to should your WiFi connection go down.
Nest Secure is just the hardware – you can use it to self-monitor, or you can subscribe to Moni monthly monitoring plans. The latter offer 24/7 professional monitoring through the Alarm Response Centers. Although the response times should be prompt, the station takes the time to reach your emergency contacts for confirmation before dispatching help.
If you – or people on your emergency contact list – can’t specify the nature of your situation, the monitoring station notifies your local police precinct.
If you self-monitor, and someone in your house triggers the alarm by pressing the panic button, you should receive a notification in your Nest app and be able to access your Nest Cam feed to assess the situation. In theory, this could work for medical emergencies. But users report notifications sometimes take up to an hour to arrive, which is unacceptable for both home security and medical emergencies.
Nest Secure DIY installation is intuitive, and you can rely on the Nest app to guide you. But when it comes to using its only panic button, the system is severely lacking. It’s on your base; you can’t wear it or move it, or customize it to stand for medical-only alerts.
Things to Consider
- The medical alerts are implemented at a sub-standard level.
- Not apt for families with children, seniors, or anyone with medical conditions.
- Nest is a Google-owned product, so assess potential privacy concerns.
The Nest Secure support does not seem overly knowledgeable in the technical area. It might make sense to request tech support instead.
Most home security systems offer at least a panic button on their keychain remotes. Many provide standalone wearable panic pendants that are also water-resistant. Some go as far as powering their medical pendants with GPS trackers, and two-way voice assist. Medical panic button devices are essential parts of any home security system these days. Nest Secure, in its current build, is not apt for medical alerts.
- The brand
- Sub-standard implementation of medical alerts
- Only one panic button on the base console
- No wearable panic pendants
- No standalone stationary panic buttons
- No keychain remotes with programmable panic buttons
- In self-monitoring, notifications take long to arrive
- No two-way voice assist