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Wireless body area networks (WBANs) are emerging as important networks, applicable in various fields. This paper surveys the WBANs that are designed for applications in healthcare. We present a comprehensive survey consisting of stand-alone sections focusing on important aspects of WBANs. We examine the following: monitoring and sensing, power efficient protocols, system architectures, routing and security. We conclude by discussing some open research issues, their potential solutions anddoi:10.5121/ijasuc.2012.3301 fatcat:usjxjojpbrfsjgnupevgu2mgh4