Scout Medical Alerts System Review – 2020

Scout might be a massive step toward smart home security. But the lack of tangible – and reliable – panic button devices makes it unfit for use with medical alerts, especially if you are looking for medical panic button devices that can be used by not-so-technically-savvy users.

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Table of Contents

Summary

The Scout Alarm install-it-yourself modular home security system is popular among techies, particularly fans of automation. It’s not ideal, but it is an affordable, transparent, and capable system, which allows you to add components easily. It also integrates with a wealth of devices, apps, and platforms like Google, Nest, Samsung SmartThings, Amazon Alexa, Z-Wave, and Zigbee. It’s all wireless and flexible, and with the implementation of IFTTT, you can even create a panic button on your smartphone.

Pros

  • IFTTT and Samsung SmartThings integration
  • IFTTT digital panic button
  • 24/7 professional monitoring available

Cons

  • Sub-standard implementation of medical alerts
  • Requires advanced technical skills to set up and operate
  • IFTTT reliability issues

Quality and Warranty

Scout manufactures its equipment and backs it with a 1-3-year limited warranty and a 60-day money-back guarantee. You have to pay for the equipment upfront, but you can return or replace the equipment you don’t need at a later point. The system relies on WiFi, with cellular backup.

Features

When it comes to medical alerts monitoring, Scout doesn’t have a physical panic button device or a panic button on its base console, but its IFTTT integration allows you to create custom recipes or tap the library of existing ones and add a broad variety of features to Scout’s base system.

In case you’re unfamiliar – IFTTT stands for IF This Then That. The free platform acts as a digital middleman that connects your Internet-enabled devices and services to make things work together and minimize manual input for you. In layman terms, it takes input from one device/service and triggers an action in another device/service.

You can use an existing IFTTT applet self-descriptively dubbed “Activate your Scout Alarm panic button,” which triggers your Scout siren – all you need to do is tap one button in your smartphone. Alternatively, you can create a custom IFTTT applet for a panic button, and add as many customized buttons as you like.

But if you need a panic button everyone in the family could use, you would have to set up the same IFTTT applet on all their smartphones (and ensure they know how to use it).

Scout also provides 24/7 professional monitoring for Samsung SmartThings users, so you could inquire if you can potentially set up your medical panic button via this integration. But the knowledge bases of both Scout and SmartThings lack cohesive confirmation on the matter.

Other than that, Scout is desperately wireless and keypad-less. Its obsession with zero-keypad design means even its door panels are RFID triggered and have no buttons.

Price​

With Scout, you pay an upfront cost for the equipment, none of which includes a panic button. Even Scout key fob only works for arming/disarming the system. For the basic setup, you are going to need a hub $129, and a few access or motion sensors and the total cost of your equipment can be significantly cheaper than with many competitors. But while Scout addon equipment includes several environmental hazard detectors, the provider flat out ignores medical pendants.

Scout has two monitoring subscriptions:

  • Always On at $9.99/mo or $107/year is a self-monitoring plan that comes with Scout proprietary mobile app you need to monitor your system and its components
  • Always On+ at $19.99/mo or $215/year, which includes a 24/7 professional monitoring

Unfortunately, self-monitoring without a subscription is unreliable and not user-friendly, since the monthly fee gets you Scout mobile app. Without it, you can only use your browser to control the system, which drastically hampers usability.

Support

Scout offers self-monitoring and 24/7 professional service with COPS Monitoring, an award-winning agency licensed to work in all 50 states.

Even though COPS is a reliable provider, an IFTTT-enabled panic button is not something you want to rely on in emergency situations. IFTTT recipes may work and then fail out of the blue, and you never know when that might happen. If you google “IFTTT reliability issues,” you will find various community forums discussing the reliability inconsistency, which persists. So the IFTTT implementation is a far cry from what you would call a full-fledged medical alert system.

The Scout community forum is a buzzing place, while the available tutorials and knowledge base are comprehensive, but good luck finding panic button-related materials. For example, there is no official confirmation from the company that medical help can be dispatched when you trigger your IFTTT panic button. Nor is it clear whether you can ask for the help to be dispatched to a location that’s different from your home address if, for instance, you happen to have a medical emergency when out and about.

Installation

You need to familiarize yourself with IFTTT and Scout mobile apps. From there, setting up your IFTTT panic button is relatively hassle-free – follow the instructions that come with the applet.

Things to Consider

  • Scout caters to the fans of automation and smartphone-enabled control. You need the mobile app or a web-based interface to control every feature of your system.
  • It’s apt for technically-savvy users.
  • It doesn’t offer medical panic buttons.

Important Tips

Scout can be impressive, but if a reliable medical alerts system is a priority feature for your home security package, look elsewhere.