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Energy-efficient MAC protocols for wireless BANs: comparison, classification, applications and challenges

Published Online:pp 146-162

Recent developments in wireless networks, MicroElectroMechanical systems technology and integrated circuits have enabled miniaturisation of micro/nano-sensor nodes. These low-power and intelligent nodes are placed in or around the human body in a strategic manner for numerous new, practical and innovative applications. These applications provide improved data speed, accuracy and reliable communication of sensors and actuators. This exciting new area of research based on miniaturised sensor nodes is called body area networks (BANs). With majority of applications in healthcare, BAN utilises IEEE 802.15.6 and IEEE 802.15.4j standards. A lot of work is going on to develop communication protocols for BANs. The design of an efficient medium access control (MAC) protocol is an important requirement for BANs applications and a considerable work has been done to achieve this. In this paper, we provide a survey on BAN with special attention given to energy-efficient MAC protocols, its classification and comparison. This paper also discusses an in-depth review on BAN applications and fundamental research challenges.


BANs, body area networks, energy-efficiency, medium access control, MAC protocols, WSNs, wireless sensor networks, frame structure