Recently, the use of wireless body area networks (WBAN) has been increasing rapidly in medical healthcare applications. WBANs consist of smart nodes that can be used to sense and transmit vital data such as heart rate, temperature and ECG from a human body to a medical centre. WBANs depend on limited resources such as energy and bandwidth. In order to utilise these resources efficiently, a very well organized medium access control (MAC) protocol must be considered. In this paper, a new, adaptive and energy-efficient MAC protocol, entitled isMAC, is proposed for WBANs. The proposed MAC is based on multi-channel communication and aims to prolong the network lifetime by effectively employing (i) a collision prevention mechanism, (ii) a coordinator node (WCN) selection algorithm and (iii) a transmission power adjustment approach. The isMAC protocol has been developed and modelled, by using OPNET Modeler simulation software. It is based on a networking scenario that requires especially high data rates such as ECG, for performance evaluation purposes. Packet delay, network throughput and energy consumption have been chosen as performance metrics. The comparison between the simulation results of isMAC and classical IEEE 802.15.4 (ZigBee) protocol shows that isMAC significantly outperforms IEEE 802.15.4 in terms of packet delay, throughput and energy consumption.