A vacuum-lancet device was applied to the forearm for the purpose of obtaining capillary blood samples for glucose monitoring with minimal pain. In four clinical trials, a total of 215 individuals aged 12-77 years were tested four times using standard conditions and four times with either a different depth of lancing, different brand of lancet or a larger-sized device. The volume of blood collected using one-half atmosphere of vacuum in 40 sec was measured. The sensation and visual appearance of each lancet puncture on the forearm was recorded. Glucose was measured in forearm and in conventional fingerstick blood samples. The distribution of volumes was skewed to higher values with median values for each trial in the range of 3-10 microL. Ninety-five percent of the lancet sticks were judged as less painful than a fingerstick. Redness and bruising around the lanced sites were noted in some patients but disappeared within a few days. Overall correlation of the forearm versus fingerstick glucose values was 0.96. The vacuum-lancet device was very successful in obtaining capillary blood samples for glucose testing in a relatively painless manner. Incorporation of a glucose measuring system into the device might improve testing compliance among those who fear pain or the sight of blood.