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The HTAi Vortal: A Comparative Analysis

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Chalon P. The HTAi Vortal: A Comparative Analysis. International Journal of Technology Assessment in Health Care. 2017;33(S1):129-130. [Poster]


INTRODUCTION: The HTAi Vortal is a product of the HTAi Information Retrieval Group (IRG) which has collected resources in the field of Health Technology Assessment (HTA) since 2005.
In 2011, a new technical platform was set up and the legacy Vortal content was split in three sections: HTA producers and networks, Selected references and Career development (including trainings). The same year, a fourth section was created to host a new product of the IRG:
In 2014, the Vortal added a new service to other Interest sub groups of HTAi: the hosting of “Custom bibliographies”. But while the Vortal was probably quite unique in 2005, other Websites have been developed since then to offer quite similar functionalities.
The present communication aims at evaluating how the Vortal compares with similar tools existing on the Web.

METHODS: Vortal competitors have been identified using a quick empirical search of the Web.
Functionalities have been identified by testing the website or their archive; maintainers have been sometimes contacted to ask for complementary information. A grid listing all functionalities has been established and filled in with the collected information.

RESULTS: Several competitors have been identified. The Vortal presents functionalities similar to online tools, but detailing level is different. Also, the Vortal provides a better integration resulting in more efficiency. And, the Vortal is the only Web platform to offer a service of publication of custom bibliographies to the different HTAi Interest Sub Groups.

CONCLUSIONS: After 12 years of existence, the HTAi Vortal is still a recognized online resource about HTA. While some existing functionalities are to be found in other online tools, some remain unique to the Vortal. Further research is needed to evaluate the preferences of people with interest in HTA.