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The fact that the IEEE 802.15.4MAC does not fully satisfy the strict wireless Body Sensor Network (BSN) requirements in healthcare systems highlights the need for the design and analysis of new scalable MAC solutions, which guarantee low power consumption to all specific sorts of body sensors and traffic loads. While taking the challenging healthcare requirements into account, this paper aims for the study of energy consumption in BSN scenarios. For that purpose, the IEEE 802.15.4 MAC limitations are first examined, and other potential MAC layer alternatives are further explored. The authors' intent is to introduce energy-aware radio activation polices into a high-performance Distributed Queuing Medium Access Control (DQ-MAC) protocol and evaluate its energy-saving achievements, as a function of the network load and the packet length.
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